Highway Landing Makes Them Heroes

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A well-developed sense of self-preservation, a lucky break in traffic, and likely a well-developed skill-set has won two pilots the accolades of a small community. Two pilots are being given the keys to the city of Roseland, Ind., and are being proclaimed "Citizen Heroes" by the St. Joseph County Red Cross for setting their crippled Pilatus PC12 down on a busy highway without causing any injuries to themselves, their three passengers or anyone on the ground last December. "I don't think either one of us feels like we are heroes," said Craig Miers, who along with co-pilot Sven Slattberg put the big turboprop single down on a section of Highway 933 lined with businesses. The plane lost power about 10 minutes into a flight from South Bend, Ind., to White Plains, N.Y. The pilots headed for the highway, the best available emergency landing site, and crossed their fingers. "Luckily, the traffic light turned red at the right time for us and opened up a little spot on the road so we could land and we took advantage of it," Miers told The Associated Press. The plane hit a power pole, shearing off part of a wing and spilling 200 gallons of fuel. The pilots were back flying the next day and the cause of the engine failure hasn't been determined.