Small plane makes emergency landing on interstate during rush hour

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The pilot was not hurt.

A small plane came down on Interstate 540 at the Leesville Road exit just before 9 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Officials at Raleigh-Durham International Airport said the pilot of the fixed wing single-engine Piper radioed in a mechanical problem and requested to return to RDU shortly after taking off from the airport.

The pilot told officials that his plane had no oil pressure and his engine cut out just before he made an emergency landing on the highway.

"I'm going to try to get as close to the runway as I can, but I might be putting it down on the freeway ... Not going to be able to make the runway. I'm putting it down on the freeway over here."

The aircraft ended up on the median of I-540 right at the Leesville exit.

The plane suffered a bent propeller and other damage, but no fire and leaks were reported.

The pilot was not injured. When officials arrived at the scene, they found him sitting on the wing, and credited him with making a difficult "textbook" landing along the interstate.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration's website, the plane is registered to a Raleigh couple.

Traffic was backed up in the area. Authorities had 540 westbound closed at Creedmoor and Leesville and were detouring drivers.

Federal investigators are working to determine what happened.

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The plane made a belly landing on the highway.

Related Topics:
emergency landingu.s. & worldNorth Carolina

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