It’s not every day a pilot gets a police escort for takeoff but a Cessna 172 owned by the East Tennessee Pilots Club had motorcycles and cars with lights blazing for its short hop to Island Home Airport near Knoxville on Wednesday morning. The pilot reportedly made a precautionary landing on I-640 because he was low on fuel. He got it down and off to the shoulder without incident and a friend brought a jerry can. By then they’d attracted quite a crowd, including about 10 law enforcement officers.
The authorities blocked 2,000 feet of freeway and the freshly fueled aircraft lined up in the fast lane and accelerated under an overpass before lifting off uneventfully. It was on the ground for less than an hour.