As his grandmother cried in the back seat, a teen pilot flying his family to breakfast made an emergency landing on a busy California highway.
In early January, Brock Peters, 18, was flying several family members from California’s Apple Valley Airport to Riverside for breakfast when his single-engine Piper PA-28 lost power, forcing him to frantically search for a landing spot.
“I heard a pop in the engine as we were coming down through the pass, and I lost all power,” said Peters, who had just earned his pilot’s license.
In the El Cajon Pass near Ontario in San Bernardino County, Peters set down the plane on Cajon Boulevard, also known as Historic Route 66.
“I had no space or time to get to any other airport, and this was my only option,” Peters said, “I got under the power lines and pulled it off to the side.”
He had to tune out his nervous family, including his sobbing grandmother, and rely on the training he’s been receiving since he was 16.
“I had my grandmother crying in the back. I had to tune her out and tune everyone else in.” Peters said.
Neither the ground nor any of the people inside the plane were injured during Peters’ landing.
“After the wheels touched down, I was like, ‘OK, we’re good,'” Peters said.
Before takeoff, Peters says he checked the equipment on the plane to ensure it was working properly.
Currently, the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident.
In addition to looking forward to flying again, Peters said he wants to be an airline pilot someday.