An 18-year old pilot that was flying a small propeller aircraft trailing banner advertising for beach go-ers made an emergency landing on an Atlantic City area bridge.
Pilot Landon Lucas was flying for Paramount Air Service when he reported an engine problem while near Steel Pier in Atlantic City, New Jersey, at around 12:30 pm on Monday.
The 18-year old was able to release his banner into the ocean and then spotted a gap in traffic in the westbound lanes of the Rt. 52 causeway, where he made a safe emergency landing. He was trying to return to Ocean City Municipal Airport after releasing the banner.
Lucas landed the plane safely with no damage to his plane and no injury to himself or anyone on the bridge. He told the Philadelphia Inquirer,
“It was either water or bridge. There was a gap in traffic, and I went in. I just did a 90-degree turn, and put it on.”
People are giving Lucas kudos for safely landing the plane. One of the women driving across the bridge at the time said,
“We rode up and couldn’t believe what we were seeing. It’s a really young pilot, and what an amazing job he did. It’s incredible that he was able to pull this off.”
The width of the bridge and the wingspan of the aircraft were both 35 ft. and the biggest challenge was avoiding the lights, he said.
“If the lights weren’t there there would be no challenge."
Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board officials have completed their investigation into the incident and Lucas returned to the air on Wednesday with another aircraft.