Small Plane Makes Emergency Landing on NJ Highway - NBC 10 Philadelphia
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Small Plane Makes Emergency Landing on NJ Highway

No injuries were reported



    Pilot Lands Small Plane on NJ Highway

    A pilot ran into some trouble in the air today and made a split second decision to land his plane on a busy New Jersey highway. Brian Thompson reports. (Published Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015)

    No one was hurt when a single-engine plane made an emergency landing on a New Jersey highway Thursday after experiencing mechanical problems, authorities and the pilot said.

    The pilot, identified as 51-year-old Christopher Okechukwu of Paramus, safely landed the Cessna C150 on Route 23 near Paradise and Doremus roads in West Milford around 1 p.m., police and federal officials said. Okechukwu was the only person on the plane.

    No vehicles were hit during the emergency landing. Chopper 4 captured an extensive emergency presence at the scene as traffic slowed to a crawl behind the aircraft.

    Okechukwu, a doctor who specializes in internal medicine, told NBC 4 New York he believes his carburetor iced up, triggering mechanical problems that made the engine run rough.

    "I did what I was trained to do -- head for the nearest highway," Okechukwu said.

    The doctor from Bergen County said he dodged a few overhead wires on the highway as he glided toward a potential landing place and eventually spotted an open stretch of the highway, behind a truck and car. He landed behind those vehicles, going with the flow of traffic, and caused minimal disruptions.

    Okechukwu said Thursday was the first time he experienced such a problem in-flight and he was "a little shaken up." But the emergency landing wouldn't deter him from hitting the skies again, he said.

    "I'll be back off. I love to fly," Okechukwu said.

    The FAA is investigating.