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‘Screaming in joy!’: Teen explains how he landed plane on bridge


By Keely Aouga and Laura Ly, CNN

A teenage pilot had to make an emergency landing on a New Jersey bridge Monday afternoon after the aircraft experienced an engine malfunction.

Landon Lucas, 18, was flying a banner plane over the southern New Jersey shoreline when he realized the airbox of his plane was dangling off the spring, preventing a proper flow of fuel on his aircraft.

Lucas said he attempted to land at Ocean City Municipal Airport, but as the airbox continued to malfunction, he knew he would be unable to make his intended destination. He told CNN that after realizing this, his main priority was finding any place he could land safely and immediately.

“It was a little stressful,” Lucas said. “You’re right in the danger zone. I was feeling overly excited to land. You just have to do it, you have to land.”

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) confirmed to CNN that Lucas was able to land his plane on a bridge on the Route 52 highway near Ocean City, New Jersey. The highway connects Ocean City to mainland New Jersey.

“A single-engine Piper J3C-65 Cub landed on the Route 52 bridge…after the pilot declared an emergency at 12:37 p.m. local time Monday,” the FAA said in a statement.

Doug Bergen, public information officer for Ocean City, said Tuesday that there was no damage to the aircraft, nor to vehicle drivers on the bridge.

Lucas, who was the sole person on the plane, said he did not suffer any injuries.

“There was not a scratch, just traffic,” he said.

The Ocean City Police Department and the FAA arrived to the scene to inspect the aircraft shortly after its landing. Both the FAA and the National Safety Transportation Board will investigate the incident, the FAA said.

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CNN’s Artemis Moshtaghian contributed to this report.




1 Comment

  1. “Flying a plane is easy”
    Those are the words of the pilot in the video. He doesn’t have enough experience to know what’s involved in flying anything where you have to do more than just operate a few controls. He didn’t even have a radio in that plane. When you have to coordinate with other traffic using modern navigation and communication techniques is when it get more interesting and more difficult. That’s when experience counts more than anything (except perhaps common sense). This guy is a potential problem when he’s flying in the real world.

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