Pilot makes emergency landing on highway
A small airplane with engine trouble made a thrilling emergency landing Thursday to join the morning rush hour commute just outside Seattle.
Washington State Trooper Clint Thompson was driving along Pacific Avenue South, also known as State Route 7, just south of Seattle and west of Tacoma when he saw a KR2 single propeller plane descending closer and closer to the roadway.
He realized it was actually going to land on the roadway, and turned on his emergency lights to block traffic to help the plane land.
The dashcam in Thompson’s patrol car captured the plane hitting the improvised runway and thundering down the road to come to stop at a red light, just like the cars on the road.
“Trooper Thompson just happened to be in the right place at the right time and witnessed the plane make an emergency landing,” Washington State Patrol spokeswoman Johnna Batiste said in a tweet.
The plane needed to make an earlier-than-scheduled pit stop “due to a fuel system malfunction,” she added.
“When he went by me, I could’ve reached out and touched the tip of his wing. That’s how close I was to that plane,” a driver, Dennis Diessner, told CNN affiliate KOMO.
It was the first time Thompson had assisted an airplane landing on a roadway in his 21 years as state trooper.
No one was injured.
The video shows the pilot, David Acklam, jumping out of the plane and pulling it off to the side of the road with the state trooper’s help.
“I would like to thank the trooper for what he did,” Acklam told KOMO, noting that Thompson “probably saved me from serious injury or death and somebody else from getting in a car crash with the plane.”
“It’s a good day to be alive,” he said.
CNN’s Chris Boyette contributed to this report.