A student pilot is being hailed for her skills – not to mention incredible luck – after engine trouble forced an emergency landing on a Southern California street.
The pilot, whose name has not been released, not only “dead-sticked” (glided with the engine off) the Cessna Skyhawk to avoid hitting power lines, she also lifted a wing to scrape over a van.
And to cap off an incredible display of airmanship, the female pilot somehow managed to stop her craft in front of a red light at a busy intersection.
Police said the pilot reported engine problems on Saturday (around Friday 5pm local time) while heading for John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana.
Video filmed from a car on the street shows the plane gliding over moving traffic to touch down in the middle of a wide road, near a set of traffic lights.
“I almost just got hit by a plane, pulling out of my gym,” a woman can be heard in the footage.
The pilot landed the Cessna 172 about eight kilometres from the airport in a Huntington Beach residential neighbourhood.
Nobody was hurt and the plane was undamaged.
“To me it’s an absolute miracle,” witness Steven Castelblanco told local news.
“She had to really keep her head on straight to keep that plane from hitting not only cars, but homes. And there’s a park, a lot going on.”
Another witness, Patrick Simes, said he was “flabbergasted” by how calm the pilot was as she waited for help.
“She was just like this – just calm, not doing anything, engine still on,” Mr Simes said.
“Just totally flabbergasted, like, you just don’t know what’s going on because it’s so unreal.”