Teen Pilot Makes Emergency Landing on New Jersey Bridge — and Avoids Injury: 'A Perfect Landing'
Landon Lucas noticed a gap in traffic on a Jersey Shore bridge, and was able to successfully land his plane amid engine trouble
When his plane began experiencing engine trouble, a teenage pilot took matters into his own hands — and safely landed his aircraft on a busy New Jersey bridge.
Landon Lucas, 18, was flying a banner plane on Monday when he started experiencing engine trouble as he flew in the skies above Atlantic City, WABC reported.
He released his banner into the ocean and tried to get to Ocean City Municipal Airport — but when he noticed a gap in traffic on the westbound lanes of the 9th Street Bridge, which connects Ocean City and Somers Point, he changed his plan.
Lucas' single-engine Piper J3C-65 Cub landed on the bridge at 12:37 p.m., the FAA confirmed in a statement to PEOPLE. He was the only one on board.
"The pilot successfully landed with no damage to the plane and no injury to himself or any motorist," Ocean City spokesman Doug Bergen said in a statement, according to the Press of Atlantic City. "Investigators are on the scene, and crews are working to remove the wings and tow the plane away."
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Witness Justin Dugary, a pilot himself, watchined Lucas' impressive landing from his boat on Monday.
"It's not easy. It's really a challenge," Dugary told Fox affiliate WTXF. "I'm very proud of him. It's really phenomenal that he was able to do this safely."
Added witness Rose Savastano to the Press: "He did a perfect landing. He's fine."
According to the FAA registry database, the plane is registered to Paramount Air Service, an aerial advertising company that flies banners above the beach along the Jersey Shore.
On its website, the company bills itself as "the nation's oldest and largest aerial advertising firm" following its launch in 1945.