I-8 serves as landing strip

Mollison Ave off-ramp
  • Mollison Ave off-ramp

“Whohoo, this is f* gnarly,” exclaimed Zach Decker, 25 while driving his vehicle on I-8 West Friday (October 19) before noon and watching live how an airplane from the Gillespie Field Airport landed in front of his car on the freeway. His wife, Keri, 26, started recording right away and the video posted on Facebook reached almost a million views. The couple lives in Boulevard, and Keri Decker said they were taking their son Mason to the dentist. “We were just driving and saw the plane go over us and told my son to look. “The pilot was like he had everything under control and all the cars were moving out of the way,” said Keri Decker, adding that the plane avoided the power lines, the near by homes and cars and ”executed that emergency landing perfectly.” Zach Decker cheered the pilot, “Good job!”

Decker family interview

Witnesses to plane landing on I-8

Witnesses to plane landing on I-8

According to Travis Garrow of the California Highway Patrol, the single engine aircraft landed around 11:20 a.m. on the freeway I-8 westbound near El Cajon. Garrow said, “We had a 36 years old male pilot who was flying the 4 seat fixed wing single engine aircraft and a 25 years old male flight instructor.” The statements taken after the incident indicated, “They experienced a loss of power on their descent to Gillespie Field." Garrow said the instructor “diverted the aircraft to I-8 westbound near Second Street where he was able to land the aircraft in the number 1 and number 2 lanes of the freeway.” In order to remove the airplane off the road, the Mollison Ave off-ramp was closed to traffic while the wings of the plane were being dismantled for easier transportation. The traffic was backed up until late afternoon.

Share / Tools

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • AddThis
  • Email

More from SDReader


".....the wings of the plane were being dismantled for easier transportation."

You mean that the wings are being unbolted from the main and secondary wing spars at the roots where the wings meet the fuselage.

Aircraft is a Piper Warrior II, a design descendant of the Piper PA-28 Cherokee, which has been around since 1960. I could find no date of manufacture for N8125Y, the aircraft that landed on the freeway, but I would assume it was built in the last ten or twenty years (Piper has been making Warriors for the last two decades.)

You will have to excuse the news media as they know as much about aircraft as they do trucks. (Every truck is a semi)

Log in to comment

Skip Ad