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Plane makes emergency landing on turnpike near Swanton

The aircraft experiencing engine failure making an emergency landing, with nowhere to go but the road.
Published: Dec. 11, 2020 at 3:21 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 12, 2020 at 8:57 AM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - A pilot needed to make an emergency stop while flying in northwest Ohio, and decided to touchdown on the Ohio Turnpike in the vicinity of Swanton Friday afternoon.

The landing was mostly without incident, though officials are asking drivers to use caution while the plane is cleared.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol shared images of the situation on social media, saying that there were no injuries to the pilot or anyone on the ground.

“The pilot notified us that he experienced some kind of failure with his engine,” said Sgt. Christopher Fitzgerald Assistant Post Commander with the Swanton Highway Patrol. “And he attempted to make an emergency landing and the actual closest place he could do it was the actual Ohio Turnpike.

Troopers with the Ohio Highway Patrol seeing a view of the highway unlike any other this afternoon, at 2:03 PM the two-seater private plane operated by Andrew Hosford out of Berrien Springs Michigan came to a screeching halt. The plane landed on the eastbound lanes of the turnpike directly across from the Swanton Post of the State Highway Patrol.

“The location where he actually brought the plane down was actually a construction zone,” said Fitgerald. “He was actually able to pull off the roadway to a safer portion where traffic could actually go around.”

Crews rushed to the scene where they directed traffic around the plane leaving the turnpike open. The plane landing without a hitch.

“The pilot did an amazing job,” said Sgt. Ryan Purpura with Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Public Affairs Unit. “The pilot was uninjured, nobody on the ground was injured, there was no damage to the airplane. It could not have worked out any better.”

Crews with the state patrol helped transport the aircraft out of the road into a nearby holding center for construction equipment, all in under an hour.

The plane will be taken to nearby Toledo Express from Swanton where the FAA will investigate the cause of the plane’s engine failure.

“I’ve seen other planes land on the highway in other states and I’m sure it’s happened in Ohio but in my 16 years of being a trooper I’ve never seen it around here,” said Sgt. Purpura.

“We see things like this but not necessarily you know a plane landing right in front of your post almost,” said Sgt. Fitzgerald.

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