Police: Pilot's Skill Prevented Tragedy On Busy Bixby Road

Thursday, April 21st 2016, 11:04 pm
By: News On 6

South Memorial Drive turned into a landing strip Thursday, as a small plane dodged power lines to safely land.

Police said the small 1969 Cessna lost power twice, giving the pilot no other option but to bring it down.

4/21/2016 Related Story: Small Plane Lands On Memorial Drive In Bixby

"I wasn't expecting it at all; it was total chaos and I couldn't even move for about a minute. I just sat there shaking," witness Don Martin said.

As Martin waited at the red light at 121st and Memorial in Bixby, a plane dipped under the power lines and landed in front of him.

"I went maybe 100 feet and he came out of the sky and he landed over here but a car pulled out in front of him out of this parking lot, so he breaks, spun and he hit that sign there and it spun him around and he went down and hit the other sign with the other tipped wing and that's where I was sitting," he said.

Typically the stretch of road is busy, but this time the northbound lanes were clear, giving the pilot a place to land.

"Amazing, amazing, and the pilot is a very experienced pilot and that he did an incredible job avoiding all the hazards on the ground. And, in my opinion, his skill as a pilot helped avoid tragedy," said Michael Konshak with Bixby Police.

Police said the pilot was flying from Missouri to Jones Riverside Airport when the plane lost power, twice. The pilot got the engine started once, but the second try he ran out of time.

Konshak said, "He didn't have the altitude to fire it back up, so he made the decision to make the landing."

Martin said, considering everything, there's only one way to sum it up, “It's a blessing from God."

The FAA will complete its investigation Friday.