Pilot Casually Nails Emergency Landing On San Diego Area Freeway

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A small airplane casually landed on the Interstate 8 in El Cajon, San Diego, on Friday, sliding right into the flow of early morning traffic.

California Highway Patrol Officers alerted officials of the single-engine aircraft at about 11:20 a.m., according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Zach and Keri Decker were on their way to the dentist on the I-8 when they saw the plane flying extremely close to the ground. As seen in their video, the aircraft landed cleanly between moving cars on the freeway without its wings hitting powerlines or the center divider.

After the potentially-dangerous scene unfolded, the Deckers’ young child in the backseat can be heard warning other drivers, “Watch out for the airplane!”

Keri Decker posted a video of their encounter to Facebook on Friday. It has since garnered 1.5 million views. 

“It was like magical, like the fact that he was able to maneuver around the cars and that the cars were smart enough to get away,” Keri Decker told NBC San Diego.

Ryan Muno, a 25-year-old flight instructor, was giving flying lessons to a 35-year-old student when the plane’s engine lost power on its descent into Gillespie Field Airport in El Cajon, the Union-Tribune reported.

Realizing they couldn’t make it to the airport, Muno took over the controls from the student and safely landed the plane on the westbound lanes of Interstate 8.

The plane landed less than two miles from the Gillespie Field Airport, according to Fox 5 San Diego.

Jim Anderson drove by the plane shortly after it landed, according to ABC 10News.

“The two gentlemen were talking to each other. They looked like they were catching their breath because they had just come to a stop,” he told the news station

Muno is a former first baseman for San Diego State University who graduated in 2015. His mother Kelly Muno told the Union-Tribune that he became a pilot after injuries prevented him from playing professional baseball. 

“I’m so proud of him,” Kelly Muno told the Union-Tribune on Friday. “He’s on his way back home, and I just want to hold him and not let him go.”

The Federal Aviation Agency and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the incident.

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