On Friday just after 1 p.m. a flight instructor and their student in a Cessna 172 aircraft experienced a failure of their single engine over I-75 in Broward County, Florida. They couldn’t reach air traffic control on the radio, but a commercial pilot who heard their calls talked them down onto the freeway 12 miles west of U.S 27.
ABC News identifies the commercial pilot as working for American Airlines. And that makes sense since they’re near Miami, Bayesian reasoning would certainly support that. But the pilot of the private aircraft says it was a United captain who helped. Someone could pull the actual air traffic control recordings and identify the aircraft.
Richard Lee: “Do you think it’s a good idea to land on the highway?”
United pilot: “Yeah man, put it down wherever you got. You look good.”
Richard Lee: “Ok. F***, I’m so scared.”
United pilot: “You’re looking good man. Your approach looks good. I think you’re going to be fine. Did the engine just quit on you?”
Moments later you hear the small aircraft getting lower as Lee tries to eyeball landing right on I-75 near Mile Marker 37.
Richard Lee: “There are cars. There’s lots of cars out.”
United pilot: “Maintain a faster than normal air speed so you have something to work with to put it down between cars. Put it down in front of them and they’ll see you and stop.”
Richard Lee: “I’ll try, I’ll try.”
United pilot: “You’re looking good. Watch that truck.”
After some dipping and dodging, a big sigh of relief
Richard Lee: Yeah, I landed! I landed! I landed! We’re on the highway! We’re on the highway!
United pilot: Alright, good landing, sir. I’m going to tell Miami you’re OK.
Life imitates Airplane!…?