A pilot, his brother, and two passenger flying in a small aircraft Sunday evening had to make an emergency landing in between of highway traffic on I-40 in Fayette County after the aircraft developed engine problems.
The Cessna Skyhawk made an emergency landing in the westbound lanes of I-40 near Somerville, safely landing the small plane between a semi big rig and a car.
There were no reported injuries, the Tennessee Highway Patrol said.
Pilot Trevor Prather and his brother, Nathaniel Prather, were flying back to West Tennessee from Sikeston, Mo., and were eight miles short of the Fayette County Airport.
"Came in for the landing and looked at the best spot I could pick, Trevor Prather said. "Kind of dropped it in between a car and a semi truck. Ended up passing the semi truck, around side of him and landed on the side of the road and came to stop. The good Lord was watching me the whole way, thankfully everyone is safe and it was a safe landing."
According to the real-time flight tracking website FlightAware.com, the Cessna Skyhawk took off at around 8:32 p.m. CST from southeast Missouri and landed some 48 minutes later, on the interstate.
The Cessna Skyhawk, with a tail registry number of N2876Q that landed on I-40, is registered to William C. Sharpe of Oakland, Tenn. The Cessna Skyhawk was manufactured in 1971.
The Cessna Skyhawk is a four-seat, single-engine, high-wing fixed-wing aircraft.
"We were in the air on our way back home, eight miles from the airport, and the engine cut out," said Nathaniel Prather, brother. "We had to lay her down on the interstate. We were going to try to glide to the airport but we didn't have enough altitude. We radioed in and they told us to land on the interstate. We had to come up over a semi truck and land between him and another car."
"That was the only part, hitting that other car," Nathaniel added. "I was confident in my brother (to land the plane safely.)"
Air traffic controllers told Trevor, who has three years of flying experience, to try gliding to the airport, but the plane didn't have enough altitude, so he coaxed the aircraft down between two vehicles on the interstate.
The FAA is investigating this incident.
Somerville is 50 miles east of Memphis.
FOX13 News reporter Scott Madaus contributed to this report.
WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
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