Saturday, 6 Mar 2021

Pilot pulls off incredible emergency landing on busy road

An award-winning pilot managed to make a ‘textbook emergency landing’ on a busy road while miraculously avoiding any injuries.

Incredible footage shows the moment Craig Gifford, 52, landed the single-engine Bellanca Viking plane in the St Paul suburb of Arden Hills, in Minnesota on Wednesday.

Two people were on board but no injuries were reported.

‘While this isn’t *quite* what we mean by a “multimodal transportation system”, we’re glad no one was injured and are impressed by the pilot’s effort to zipper merge from above,’ wrote the Minnesota Department of Transportation in a Facebook post.

One vehicle was hit during the emergency landing, temporarily closing the highway.

Craig, who lives in Minneapolis, is a competitive aerobatic pilot – a sport that involves flying aircraft in a series of complex and daring manoeuvres. 

Experimental Aircraft Association spokesperson, Dick Knapinski, told MailOnline Craig represented the United States in international competition in 2017 and 2019 on the Unlimited Aerobatic Team, which took home the bronze medal at the world championships in South Africa in 2017.

He added pilots take aerobatic training lessons to learn how to better manoeuvre aircraft in emergency situations, which he said explains how Craig’s skills helped him pull off the impressive landing.

‘Pilots are trained to deal with emergency engine problems and things like that if you have to make an emergency landing, and so the combination of that training and certainly [Craig’s] aerobatic training really paid off in this situation,’ Dick said.

Craig declined to comment, noting the ongoing investigation into the incident by the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation and Safety Board.

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