Pilot Flies Under Overpass And Makes Emergency Landing on California Freeway

Costa Mesa
A pilot made an emergency landing on a freeway on Sunday night, flying under an overpass in the process Costa Mesa Fire Department

You've heard about the "miracle on the Hudson," but what about a "miracle" on a California freeway?

Motorists in Costa Mesa were stunned Sunday evening when a young pilot forced to make an emergency landing flew under an overpass and landed right on the 55 Freeway.

The pilot, who identified himself as 25-year-old Izzy Slod, told CBS he managed to land the Beech G33 safely on the highway after the small plane experienced engine failure.

Slod said he had been on his way to Van Nuys from San Diego with a friend when the plane's engine quit on them at around 7:50p.m.

The 25-year-old said he made a split decision to land on the freeway when strong winds prevented him from getting to the John Wayne Airport.

Plane landed on the 55 North we just missed it! pic.twitter.com/CA3lk8HM1T

— Dora Noriega (@doracocheer) January 29, 2018

"You don't have a choice. You have maybe a minute, maybe two minutes max to figure something out and make decisions and I went with my gut on the freeway," the pilot said.

"I didn't know if I would make it, but it paid off this time."

The Costa Mesa Fire Department described Slod as an "experienced pilot." The 25-year-old said he has at least seven years of experience under his belt.

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Despite his training, Slod said he believed sheer "luck" played a role in the smooth landing, adding that while he is "not a believer," he does feel the safe touchdown was nothing short of a "miracle."

Several videos posted to social media showed the plane sitting on the right side of the highway with no visible damage.

Casual when a plane lands on the freeway #LA #55 #CostaMesa pic.twitter.com/2Ohp8H2P5G

— Peter Erni (@Peter_Erni) January 29, 2018

"Plane landed on the 55 North we just missed it!" one witness, Dora Noriega‏, wrote on Twitter.

The Federal Aviation Administration told the Los Angeles Times it is investigating the incident.