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Plane lands on highway during rush hour


UPI News Service, 09/21/2010 

A pilot landed his small plane on an Atlanta interstate during rush hour without injuring anyone, authorities say.

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Kathleen Bergen with the Federal Aviation Administration said Matthew Conway was flying his six-passenger 1996 Piper Saratoga to Peachtree-DeKalb Airport shortly before 5 p.m. Monday when the engine failed over Interstate 85, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Tuesday.

Bergen said the plane, which has a 40-foot wing span, clipped trees on its way down to the southbound lanes of the road, but Conway was able to avoid striking any other vehicles.

Authorities said I-85 traffic was blocked for about an hour.

William Smith, DeKalb County deputy fire chief, complimented the pilot's skills.

"At that point, you have about 30 seconds to make a decision ... . He probably saw 85 and went to land," Smith said. "My hat's off to the pilot. He did a good job landing that plane."

The FAA was investigating the cause of the engine failure.


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