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Small plane makes emergency landing on NC highway, clipping 2 vehicles

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Small plane makes emergency landing on NC highway, clipping 2 vehicles

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A small plane experiencing engine problems struck two vehicles as it landed on a highway near a North Carolina airport, but no injuries were reported, authorities said.

The single-engine Lancair 360 with only the pilot on board landed near Raleigh Executive Jetport at Sanford-Lee County Airport in Sanford around 4:20 p.m. Thursday after experiencing engine problems, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement. The FAA will investigate.

The plane was traveling from Lynchburg, Virginia, to Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina, according to FlightAware, which tracks flight activity.

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The plane struck two SUVs as it landed on U.S. Route 1, but only one sustained minor damage and no injuries were reported, Moncure Fire Department Chief Robert Shi said in a statement Friday.

Plane after landing on North Carolina highway

In this image provided by the Moncure, N.C., Fire Department, emergency personnel and law enforcement look over the scene after a small plane, experiencing engine problems, made an emergency landing along Route 1, Thursday afternoon, April 4, 2024, in Moncure, N.C., near Raleigh Executive Jetport at Sanford-Lee County Airport. The plane struck two vehicles as it landed, but no injuries were reported, authorities said. (Moncure Fire Department via AP)

The pilot said he experienced a prop failure that led to engine failure and he had to make an emergency landing, Shi said. The plane’s landing gear was not deployed, so it landed on its belly, he said.

“Moncure Fire is grateful this incident only involved property damage, Shi said. “US1 is heavily travelled each afternoon and this incident could have been much worse.

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol said of the two vehicles clipped by the plane, only one driver filed a report, WRAL-TV reported.

Chris Sealey told WRAL-TV that he saw a plane flying unusually low with no landing gear and thought that it was “a weird looking car” from a few miles down the road.

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“I mean, he was probably like 3 feet off the ground when I saw him, so I don’t think he had very long to go,” Sealey said. “And, there was no big explosion or anything behind me, but you could tell like the traffic on both sides was kind of, you know, freaking out about it, but he had like a whole line of cars behind him.”

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