A single-engine plane carrying a pilot and one passenger crash-landed on California's 91 Freeway after an engine malfunction, striking a truck and igniting into flames, according to authorities.
The two people inside the plane were unharmed, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. The incident occurred on the highway 45 minutes east of downtown Los Angeles.
According to the Corona Fire Department, which promptly arrived on the scene, the plane broke apart after clipping the truck and ignited on impact around 12:30 p.m. Video footage shared by the department showed firefighters quickly put out the flames. Dashcam video footage, obtained by USA TODAY, circulated on social media captured the moment when the small aircraft weaved in between cars to land.
The pilot, Andrew Cho, told Los Angeles television station KTLA his training allowed him to land semi-successfully in traffic.
"It felt like a hard bump, hard to describe," Cho told the outlet. "We were 4 to 5 feet in the air when the plane stalled completely and fell to the ground. Your training kicks in, and you do the right thing. As long as you don’t panic, you get the best outcome."
The plane, a single-engine Piper Cherokee PA-32, had an unspecified "engine issue" while flying to Corona Municipal Airport, according to the FAA.
"The pilot claims to have experienced possible engine failure on their final descent to Corona Municipal Airport," California Highway Patrol Capt. Levi Miller said, via KTLA. "(We’re) very fortunate today that the traffic was light, and the pilot appears to have made some good landing navigation that avoided what could have been a very bad tragedy."
The crash led to a major pileup in traffic on 91 Freeway, which was backed up many miles for several hours as police officers blocked all main lanes.
— Corona Fire Dept #CoronaFire (@CoronaFireDept) August 9, 2022
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: California plane crash-lands on busy freeway near Los Angeles