Yet Another Highway Landing: This Time, All’s Well That Ends Well


A new highway forced landing is making viral YouTube history thanks to dashcam video. This one came to a flaming finale, but fortunately both occupants of the Piper PA-32 were able to get out before fire engulfed the cabin on Tuesday (Aug. 9). In addition, all three occupants of a Toyota pickup truck, struck by the right wing of the aircraft as it landed on Route 91 in Corona, California, were also uninjured.

Pilot Andrew Cho told television reporters, “We weren’t going to be able to make the airport landing field [Corona Airport – KAJO] without possibly hitting a building and so I had to make a decision to land on the freeway.” California Highway Patrol Captain Levi Miller told television news reporters, “The traffic was light and the pilot appears to have made some good landing navigations and avoided what could have been a very bad tragedy.”

Cho and his passenger were en route to Catalina Island for lunch when the engine lost power at around 12:30 p.m. local time. His successful landing (everyone walked away) is one of a series of recent highway landings, unfortunately not all with such positive results.

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Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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  1. Electric aircraft are not yet practical, but I expect continuing R&D to get us there, just as with all the other improvements in aviation over the years. An electric powertrain, either a hydrogen hybrid or battery-powered, is orders of magnitude simpler than an internal combustion engine. Plus it offers opportunities for redundancy not available with ICE. It’s too bad the shoddily researched “Climate Change” blitz casts shade on the actual engineering advantages of an electric aircraft.

  2. I am against battery powered aviation because the immutable laws of the periodic table argue against a weight effective battery energy density but HFC may have potential.

    If it is more reliable than ICE remains to be seen but it’s certainly possible.

    I also agree that the climate change nonsense clouds the issue that there may be at least some merit to electric aviation. The batteries are the no-go step. HFC may circumvent this, but brings additional complexity.

    With that said we may see fewer engine failures but more ‘fuel’ exhaustion due to poor range nd endurance.

  3. I think Andrew ought to take the insurance money and buy a boat to have lunch on Catalina Island.

  4. Years ago at a meeting for Fast Jet Pilots of the Cold War (not running at that time) I met a former Mig19 pilot of the DDR who now operated a Cessna 172 with an Austrian reg. Flying over southern Germany his fuel feed from tanks to motor developed a leak, result a forced landing on a almost empty autobahn. No damage, but road now blocked. The traffic police arrived, he borrowed their spanner to fix the leak, paid for their spare can of mogas and was given permission to take off and continue to Linz in Austria. He asked if a report had to be filed, to be told no need your airplane is Austrian, file there when you arrive. In due course landed in Linz, when starting to file a report was told, no need, this happened in Germany, nothing to do with us. Bureaucracy never loses.