ALPINE TOWNSHIP, MI — A pilot said he was grateful for light traffic when he was forced to land a single-engine plane on M-37 near Sparta following engine trouble.
Steven Chanter, a flight instructor, was with a student pilot about 4 p.m. Thursday, March 7 when their Cessna began to sputter and the oil pressure cut out.
He knew they would not be able to make it back to the Sparta airport so he chose the road.
“It’s very intense and there’s very little time to do very much. We were only about 1,000 feet off the ground,” he said following the safe landing.
No one was hurt and the plane was not damaged.
Chanter managed to maneuver under power lines that service the traffic light at 10 Mile Road.
“Everything happened within probably less than a minute from losing the engine to putting the plane on the ground,” he said.
“Fortunately the traffic was clear. We had an open lane on southbound M-37 that we could go through and there was no traffic on 10 Mile Road. Once we cleared that intersection, it was a normal landing at that point.”
Chanter has been a pilot since 2000 and flight instructor since 2003.
After Thursday’s landing, the plane was loaded onto a flatbed two truck and hauled to a nearby business. Workers planned to take the wings off to transport it back to Sparta airport.