BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s video everyone is talking about–a pilot makes an emergency landing in the middle of a highway with two Maryland skydivers on board. One instructor is now being hailed a hero for saving lives.
Rick Ritter has more on the frightening incident.
Rick was there moments moments after it happened. He saw the plane up close. What this pilot did was nothing less than amazing. Many are calling it a miracle landing.
Like something out of a movie, bizarre video shows this single engine plane making an emergency landing right in the middle of a Jersey Shore highway.
“This landing was pretty amazing,” said George Voishnis, Skydive East Coast.
Sunday morning, Tadas Simonis, an instructor for Skydive East Coast, takes flight for a lesson with four other people on board. Just minutes in, the unexpected hits hard.
“Of course, when an engine is running, you have a lot of sound. And then, all of a sudden, that sound is gone,” said Simonis.
What’s believed to be a complete engine failure at 4,000 feet in the air leaves the group with a split-second decision.
“We made a decision not to jump,” said Simonis.
Instead, Simonis tightens the seat belts of two Maryland students, making them duck down for the emergency landing.
Video shows the plane swoop in over the Stafford Township highway, somehow dodging electrical wires along with hundreds of cars.
“He hit the ground doing 100 miles per hour, caught up to the cars in front of him instantly, turned the plane to keep from hitting cars in front of him,” said George Voishness, co-owner, Skydive East Coast.
The plane quickly made its way into the median, which is only about 20 feet wide. On board that flight was a brother and sister who live in Bel Air.
Video and pictures from the accident are now the talk of social media.
Co-owner of the company, George Voishness says the landing couldn’t have been more perfect.
“Without the actions that these people took, we could have been going to five funerals,” he said.
The owner of the company says the plane was not high enough for those on board to jump and parachute, leaving them no choice but to make that emergency landing.
Only one instructor suffered minor injuries.
The FAA and engine manufacturer will take apart the plane to determine what the problem was.