US USC student describes harrowing moments landing crippled plane on 55 Freeway

23:26  09 february  2018
23:26  09 february  2018 Source:   latimes.com

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A USC student safely landed a single-engine plane on the 55 Freeway in Costa Mesa after its engine failed. (KTLA-TV). Israel "Izzy" Slodowitz was soaring over Costa Mesa in a single-engine airplane with a friend on his way to Van Nuys from a charity dinner in San Diego the night of Jan.

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a close up of an airplane © KTLA-TV

Israel "Izzy" Slodowitz was soaring over Costa Mesa in a single-engine airplane with a friend on his way to Van Nuys from a charity dinner in San Diego the night of Jan. 28 when something went wrong.

The engine on the Beechcraft Bonanza G33 he was flying suddenly quit.

Slodowitz, a 23-year-old Israeli special operations veteran in his junior year at USC's Marshall School of Business, made an emergency landing at about 7:50 p.m. on the northbound lanes of the 55 Freeway near the Del Mar Avenue exit.

He recounted the incident for the USC News website last week.

"Pilots are trained for these kinds of things," Slodowitz, a licensed commercial pilot, told USC News. "Still, I went on total muscle memory and didn't let myself think of anything other than landing the plane."

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His boss' Beechcraft could glide for about 10 miles under normal conditions, and he was within sight of John Wayne Airport. But strong Santa Ana winds pushed him off course.

"I realized that we weren't going to make the runway," he said. "And because it was night, I couldn't see what was in front of the runway. I'm not going to lie — in the very back of my head, I could see how this might turn out badly."

Traffic on the 55 was light, so he turned off the plane's battery to conserve power and glided under a freeway overpass, he said.

"I saw an opening on the highway and I went for it right away," Slodowitz told KTLA-TV. "I had to make a last-minute, last-second judgment on whether or not we could make it over [the overpass], and we didn't have the airspeed to make it over, so I went under it."

The plane didn't hit any cars or cause any collisions on the freeway, and Slodowitz was able to pull it to the shoulder of the road. No injuries were reported, and the plane was undamaged.

Authorities are investigating what caused the engine to fail.

"I'll be back in the cockpit," Slodowitz told USC News, "not because I'm crazy but because I'm logical. Aviation, statistically speaking, is safer than driving, even walking."

A plane engine fell apart in midair. The passengers were amazing. .
When a Boeing 777 engine ripped apart midflight, hundreds of passengers countered terror with acts of courage, grace and love. Even corny puns.We don’t know much about what happened on the United Airlines flight, not mechanically at least. The outer casing ripped off the rightmost engine midway through the San Francisco to Honolulu flight. Passengers heard a boom, followed by a high-pitched whine, and then they all shook violently with the entire plane.

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