Plane hit by 3 cars after Calif. freeway landing

*SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) - Authorities say a small airplane was struck by three vehicles just after it made an emergency landing on a California freeway.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor says the Piper PA-24 Comanche with two people on board was bound for Santa Barbara Airport Sunday when the pilot told air traffic controllers he had no fuel remaining and landed on the southbound side of U.S. Highway 101, about one mile northeast of the airport.

California Highway Patrol Officer James Richards says three cars were unable to avoid the plane and crashed into it. He says the occupants of the plane and the cars were not injured.

Richards says traffic briefly backed up for miles while crews shut down the freeway to remove the plane.*


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Rule one, if you gotta land on a highway land WITH traffic and not against it.

Rule 1a would be make sure you have enough fuel.

Local news said he was unable to change fuel lines, assume that meant fuel tanks. Looks like he had recently purchased the plane.

Rule 1b should be don’t land on a busy road.

I’d love to hear the conversation between the motorists and their insurance company when they file a claim for hitting an airplane on the highway.

I’d say they did the Comanche owner a favor.

Rule 1c: If you run out of fuel, and land on a busy road, never admit it. Wait til cars hit your wings, and rupture the tanks, then say you had catastrophic engine failure.

One less licensed pilot out there…

except when the Feds fire up the motor after adding some fuel… My buddy ran us out of fuel once and he got his ticket pulled for 30 days. we even landed on a road and hit some cars.

smash the pushrod tube with a hammer, than run inside and crank it. worth a try i guess! or… pa-24’s have notorious turbo problems, there’s a million ways to make a turbo look broken. just sayin’ always have options.

Just kick the cowling and tell the investigators you hit a bird. Everyone will understand.


Better yet, have a “throwdown bird” stashed on board for times like this when you need one. “That be the bird that hit me right there!”

Based on the picture with the KTLA article, it looks like he did land with the flow of traffic. The fire engine is in the standard blocking position and it looks like the LEO (Law Enforcement Officer) is directing traffic around the scene. The emergency personnel on the scene should be wearing ANSI approved Class III traffic vests, but that’s for a different forum.

Stay safe!

No, he landed in the south bound lanes.

I hate when I have to make the effort to prove myself right.


The plane’s engine quit, and as the pilot descended, he lost control of the plane and landed in the southbound lane facing oncoming traffic. The plane struck two vehicles while landing, then spun and hit another one with its tail, Richards said.

Flight aware even got a plug in this article. … lands-101/

According to Internet flight tracking websites, the plane was on its way to Santa Barbara Airport from French Valley Airport, a small airport in southwest Riverside County near Temecula.

Internet Tracking Website had a hyperlink to

I like the way you think… 8)

Might I suggest keeping a down pillow on board for your passengers comfort and for situations like this.