WESTON, Fla. – A small plane made an emergency landing Friday afternoon in the median of Interstate 75 at Mile Marker 37 in Weston.
According to a spokeswoman from the Federal Aviation Administration, the single-engine Cessna 172 landed about 12 miles west of U.S 27 after the pilot declared an emergency at 1:17 p.m.
Two men, a pilot and student pilot, were aboard the plane. Neither was injured.
The FAA is investigating what caused the plane’s engine to suddenly stop working.
The people on board were pilot Richard Lee and his student Davis Hernandez from Skyduo Flight Academy, a flight school based in Opa-locka. According to the men, they were practicing a turning maneuver when the engine just suddenly stopped.
“It’s a high-performance, 180-degree turn,” Lee said of the maneuver. “And we gained maximum altitude after we reached 180-degrees. Suddenly, the engine just shut down.
“The plane engine just cut off, and so, we did what we train for. When you start with a private license, they actually train you to do the emergency landings to prepare for this moment, I guess. But, I’m still glad for United Pilot, because they calmed us down, said ‘You’re doing well.’”
Hernandez added, “United Pilot from United Airlines made sure we were doing good.”
At around 3 p.m., tow trucks arrived on the scene to tow the plane away. However, at 4:30 p.m., the plane was still on the median.
This was the pilot’s first emergency landing, and he says he hopes it was the last. They were very relieved and grateful for the assistance they received during the emergency.
The incident led to the northbound left lane being shut down to traffic. However, all lanes have since reopened.
Records show the plane is registered to the A&N Flight School.