25 Pics Of Planes Landed On Highways

Planes that have to make emergency landings often take advantage of highways in order to make a desperate touchdown. What complicates matters is the fact that hundreds of drivers are often on these roads during the landing. Gathered here are a compilation of photos that show planes landing on highways, which often result in major traffic jams.


This small plane encountered a challenge while airborne. As per the Sun Sentinel, the pilot admitted, “I ran out of fuel.” All the pilot could do at that point was land the plane on a highway in order to make it out of the predicament.

The plane even came into contact with a car. “He hit me so hard on the roof, and the propeller blades cut into the roof,” admitted the driver. Thankfully the blades didn’t go through the roof and no injuries occurred.


The photographer may have snapped this one from a distance, but it shows enough to see that the plane made a safe and successful landing just off the shoulder of this highway. Reddit user Google Magic notes that the plane had to make an emergency landing close to the Ford Vancouver Airport.

It’s unfortunate considering the plane had almost made it to its destination—that is unless the Fort Vancouver Airport was where it had departed from. A car appears stopped behind the plane where a few people are standing around to discuss the situation.


People don’t often look to the skies while driving. That could change though if the amount of these emergency landings keeps increasing. This plane, according to the site Yardee, landed in a New Jersey beach town one Sunday morning.

Since the plane is sitting on the grass turf that divides the two lanes on the highway, it’s safe to assume the plane found a way to maneuver around traffic and land in a safe spot. In the background, one can make out spectators on the sidelines.


This photo could easily raise eyebrows without the proper context. In spite of how it looks, the pilot’s initial plan wasn’t to land on this street. According to NY Daily News, the pilot attempted to steer the plane onto a runway before it veered off into a street close by. The same source notes that the plane is a Piper PA-28-161 Warrior II.

The runway the pilot tried to land in belongs to the Long Island airport. The good news is the pilot and others came out of the instance unscathed.


A small blue plane landed on a highway in Chicago this past July. It happened in the afternoon one day close to what the Chicago Tribune reports was South Lake Shore Drive. When a plane lands on a highway, it raises alarm and can end up blocking multiple lanes in one direction.

That, in turn, delays motorists and can take hours just to remove the plane from the highway. Personnel had to even shut down the southbound Lake Shore Drive in order to properly move the plane.


This plane found itself in a precarious situation last February while on the 101 Freeway in Santa Clara County, California. According to CBS News, the pilot was able to land the plane on a grassy strip between the two divided lanes. If the separation of grass didn’t exist, this plane might have had to land in the middle of a freeway.

The same source notes that the plane carried one pilot and that thankfully, he didn’t sustain any injuries in landing.


This aircraft is likely to draw attention for its unique design. What’ll draw even more attention—and a couple of eyebrows in the process—is the background behind it. The NY Post reports that the pilot is 75 years old and didn’t find himself in a bind once—but twice in one week.

The same source notes that this pilot, who’s from Long Island, found himself stranded on the side of a highway twice in just one week. The second time was due to problems with the engine.


There’s a reason newbie pilots in training have an instructor inside the cockpit with them. When the going gets tough, especially during an actual flight—as opposed to a simulation—an instructor is there to take over. That’s what happened when this VAN RV12 plane experienced a problem in the air that forced a flight instructor, as LCC Torch notes, to land the plane.

The flight instructor behind the stunt is standing next to the plane in this photo, who looks cool as a cucumber despite the potential catastrophe.


The one posing in the photo looks happy in spite of the emergency situation. According to CBS 7, local Sheriffs responded to reports that a plane had made its way down on a highway. The same source notes it landed between West Highway 158 and West County Road 60.

It occurred in March 2018. When these incidents occur, there’s always the potential for harm to come to the pilot, passengers or drivers on the highway. No injuries came about as a result though to the relief of many.


When a plane makes an emergency landing, there are often few places for it to land safely. A highway sounds like the most dangerous place to land, considering all the cars on the move. Few avenues provide a long stretch of road though for a plane to even stand a chance.

That’s why this vintage airplane—with the words “U.S. Air Force” emblazoned along the side—had to land on Highway 45. According to ABC News, no injuries occurred as a result of the emergency landing.


Although part of the divider is blocking the bottom half of this aircraft, one can see its managed to land safely. It almost looks humorous the way it’s sitting underneath the Orchard Street exit sign as if it’s just another automobile on the highway.

According to CN Traveler, the plane is a Cessna 210, which wasn’t able to engage its landing gear upon landing. Despite the lackluster landing, the same source reports that no injuries occurred as a result of the mishap.


Seeing a plane resting on the surface of a highway looks odd. It has become a more common occurrence for these single-engine planes to end up on a major highway though. The Billings Gazette reports that this plane landed on Interstate 94 in Montana. They note that no one reported any injuries, which comes as a relief in these situations.

It ended up touching down closing to 9 PM on an ordinary night back in August 2018. In the photo, the pilot is standing near the rear of the plane while making a phone call.


A few things are odd about this photo. For one, the entire highway—at least in one lane—looks blocked off, despite the plane sitting in a patch of grass on the side. Next, there are trucks behind the plane at a distance, more than likely figuring out how to move the fallen aircraft.

According to NJ.com, this plane took off at Brookhaven Calabro Airport and found itself off to the side of the Sunrise Highway, which is in North Bellport, New York. The same source notes that no one experienced injuries. This incident occurred back in July 2017.


This photo captures a plane that’s in the process of landing. Although it can prove a headache for automobiles on the road to encounter this kind of situation, it’s worth noting that the pilots tend to know what they’re doing. The Drive reports that this single-engine plane had to land in a pinch on Sunrise Highway, which is in Brookhaven, New York.

The plane was a Cessna 206. The same source notes, with so many airfields in this area, it’s inevitable for planes to make unexpected landings like this.


Cars respect airplanes that come in for a landing. Accepting that planes have the upper hand, they naturally create a space for that plane to land. At least, that’s what happened here when an aircraft landed on Highway 17.

According to Myrtle Beach Online, the cars thinned out and allowed for the plane to make its emergency landing. Even more, no one got injured as a result. It’s as if the cars cooperated with the plane’s emergency and made the unplanned landing as seamless as possible.


When a plane is losing power or fuel, it has no choice but to make an emergency landing. This Mustang II, as the site 102.1 The Edge notes, found its way on the Coquihalla Highway in the middle of the highway’s two lanes.

The pilot emerged from the plane unscathed, though a nearby driver asked how he was doing. “‘Yes, I’m fine,’” remarked a driver, quoting the pilot getting out of the plane. The pilot stayed with his plane until personnel arrived onto the scene.


Only a handful will ever encounter an airplane on the highway. Those who do, however, are liable never to forget it. “I saw the airplane landing, just missing a car,” told one after witnessing a Piper PA-31 Navajo plane landing, to the Edmonton Sun. It happened early in the morning before 6 AM, the same source reports.

That would be around the time people are getting up or else already on their way to work. What a surprise it was for those folks to encounter a plane on the same road on the way to work.


It’s said that “The bigger they are, the harder they fall.” It’s a good thing then that these planes aren’t as big as 747s, for example. According to the site Redheaded Blackbelt, a pilot landed this plane off Highway 299, before officials found a way to take it away.

There’re photos of some gathering helpers finding a way to prep the wings for transportation. It’s nice that people are willing to lend a helping hand, even if the plane inconvenienced them in some way.


This red and white plane may look cool in the air, but it’s an eyesore on the highway. No one wants to see a small airplane land on busy highway, as it leads to delays and potential injuries. Newslocker reports that this plane had to make an emergency landing on Interstate 4 close to Orlando, Florida.

As is the case with many aircrafts on the list, the plane ended up running out of fuel. A plane is vulnerable unless it goes through the proper checks before takeoff.


The woman in the foreground with a crestfallen face perfectly sums up this situation. A small plane managed to make an emergency landing on the Interstate 580 in San Leandro, California, back in August 2018.

According to ABC 7 News, the pilot states that the desperate measure was necessary due to a snapped fuel line. In addition to the pilot, there was one other passenger. Both came out of the plane without any injuries. The plane had come originally from Lake Tahoe.


A plane’s wingspan can vary, usually spanning between 30-60 feet for a smaller type. When a plane lands on a highway, it can impede traffic on both sides due to its long wingspan.

According to CNN, the pilot of this plane was only 25 years old. He had to make an emergency landing, which ended up closing down some lanes on the highway. First responders are also seen in the background working to move the plane and address any injuries experienced during the landing.


Among the many planes to make the list, this is one of the more peculiar-looking ones. According to CBC News, the pilot received a warning about flying the plane due to its known engine woes. As a result, he lost his privileges to fly from King George Airpark in the future.

What makes the emergency landing problematic was that it had to touchdown during rush hour traffic. Although the pilot suffered an injury, he’s hoping to make a full recovery and get airborne again.


Not all emergency landings happen during the day. This particular one, which occurred in Costa Mesa, California, happened late one night. Izzy, the name of the pilot, had to make an emergency landing on the 55 Freeway, according to KTLA, in January 2018.

There wasn’t much traffic on the freeway, which opened up the door for a safe and injury-free landing. “I saw an opening on the highway and I went for it right away,” the pilot recalled, as per the same source.


Fittingly, this plane flew over the “City in Motion” —also known as San Diego—where it landed on a freeway. According to the LATimes, it happened in October 2018 when a single-engine plane ended up losing power. The flight instructor had to take over the controls from a student and land the plane on Interstate 8.

Thankfully the pilot was able to land the plane without hitting any cars and without injuries. Like someone taking their behind the wheel test with the DMV, this plane encountered trouble while a student flew and had to make an emergency landing.


Featured earlier was this blue plane that had to make an emergency landing on a highway. This particular photo shows the plane at a different angle, instead of showing it from above, before it could move off to the side.

According to ABC 7 Chicago, the pilot was able to contact the Chicago Fire Department claiming he was in danger and would have to touchdown soon. It was due to the plane losing power. The plane stands out for its blue and yellow paint job.

Sources: LATimes, Chicago Tribune, CBS News, KTLA, CNN & Reddit.