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Plane Goes Into Engine Failure and Makes Emergency Landing on California Highway

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A young pilot had to make a tough decision Sunday night when his plane went into engine failure mid-air on his way to Santa Ana, California.

Just before 8 o’clock in the evening, 24-year-old pilot Izzy Slod noticed his plane was beginning to descend on its own. He and his passenger, Daniel Gross, realized the engine had completely lost power and they were unable to restart it.

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In that moment, Slod had a split-second decision to make. “You don’t have a choice, you have a minute, maybe two minutes max to figure something out,” he said. “I went with my gut on the freeway.”

Slod immediately contacted air traffic control to notify them of his plans before he descended upon the 55 freeway in Costa Mesa. The pilot had to dodge traffic during his landing; he eventually touched down in the number five lane before easing over to the shoulder. Thanks to Slod’s quick thinking and skilled landing, no one was injured during the incident.

The highway did not close down after the incident, but traffic did naturally increase. Authorities closed off the far-right three lanes for the remainder of the evening, leaving the left two lanes open for traffic to funnel through.

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Behind the wheel, whether it’s a plane or a vehicle, you often have to make quick, life-or-death decisions. Thankfully, this young pilot had enough experience and a solid gut feeling that saved their lives.

News Sources: TIME, NBC Los Angeles