Traffic plane makes emergency landing on N.J. Turnpike, snarling commute
HADDONFIELD, N.J. - A traffic reporter in a small plane found himself in the thick of a rush-hour tie-up when his aircraft had to make an emergency landing yesterday on the New Jersey Turnpike.
It was a little before 7, before the morning rush in the Philadelphia suburbs gets going, when a low oil pressure indicator came on in the Cessna.
The pilot, flying with traffic reporter Mike Lankford for Metro Networks, which was providing traffic reports for a number of TV and radio stations, put the plane down on the northbound lanes of the turnpike in Cherry Hill, about 2 miles south of Exit 4.
“This was pretty much a non-incident in terms of what the outcome was like,’’ said New Jersey Turnpike Authority spokesman Joseph Orlando. “The plane landed, he taxied it over into the shoulder. We can’t even get motorists to do that when they break down.’’
Authorities have not identified the pilot or passenger, but have said that neither was hurt.
There was a traffic backup of about 1 1/2 miles in each direction. Orlando said that was due mostly to rubbernecking. “For the first time in eight years, I can probably say you had a good reason to stop and look,’’ Orlando said.
The Federal Aviation Administration was starting an investigation.
The plane, a Cessna 152 built in 1981, was loaded onto a truck and taken to a New Jersey Turnpike Authority maintenance yard near Exit 5.