UPDATE: Plane makes emergency landing on Hwy 27 in Rhea County - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Plane makes emergency landing on Hwy 27 in Rhea County

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RHEA COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: Highway 27 in Rhea County turned into a runway, as a small plane landed on the roadway, Saturday.

The plane touched down on near Evensville sometime before 8 p.m., no one was hurt.

The owner of the single-engine Piper PA20, Tom Webb says his plane needed about 4-500 feet to stop. He only had minutes to make a forced emergency landing.  Eyewitnesses say it's a miracle no one was hurt.
 
"Right, really lucky God was watching out for him," said witness Jamie Williams. 

Williams was driving down the highway when it happened. 

"I got off work at 7 o'clock and I was coming down the street here, I looked up and it looked like a helicopter at first. It was like it was landing, just coming straight down but was coming at me," said Williams. 

The pilot tells Channel 3 his engine failed at 5,500 hundred feet in the air. His fiancé started looking for a place to land and spotted head lights down below. 

"That's the thing, I don't see how he did it because of the power lines where they're at," said Williams, "They're in so many different places."

Web circled around to find a straight stretch of highway and at the last minute, to avoid hitting another car, they touched down early going 80 mph in a curve. The plane landed on two wheels and doesn't have a scratch.

"He just landed on the straight away and I knew something was wrong because you don't see that every day," said Williams. 

The veteran pilot was on his way back from Pigeon Forge to Winchester, TN. He has never made an emergency landing before and says this trip was a Valentine’s day date the couple won't soon forget. 

Both the pilot and his fiancé are extremely thankful for everyone in the community who stopped to help, the FAA is investigating the emergency landing, 

Experts say while roads or freeways with power lines, traffic and bridges are not ideal for airplanes to make an emergency landing on, the pilot did a good job landing safely. 
 
Pilots should always look for a long smooth level open field first or non-public road.
This pilot says Hwy 27 was the only lit straight away in sight. 


PREVIOUS STORY: Rhea County dispatchers confirm to Channel 3 a small plane has landed on Highway 27 in the northern end of the county. They report no injuries associated with the landing.

Channel 3 has a crew on the way to the scene to gather more information.

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