Plane Makes Emergency Landing on I-10 in D’Iberville

A pilot didn’t quite stick the landing he was aiming for today, instead making an emergency landing on Interstate 10 between the D’Iberville and Ocean Springs exits. News 25’s Gina Tomlinson was at the scene of the breathtaking landing and shares these details.
“I said ‘Gulfport, I lost engine power. I’m not landing at the airport, I can’t make it.’” Callahan Aircraft Services Pilot Rodney McKnight Jr. made a heroic landing on a busy stretch on Interstate 10 in Jackson County during the busy noon rush hour. He recalls some very intense moments before his single engine plane touched down safely.
“I didn’t have enough altitude or potential energy to glide to the closest airport, so that’s when I decided to turn eastbound and land on I-10,” said McKnight.
McKnight tells News 25 he turned to his passenger and told him they would have to make an emergency landing. McKnight’s passenger was on his way to meet his cousin, Chuck Coats. Coats tells News 25 he would have never imagined a reunion like this. “I thought it was a joke. I haven’t seen my first cousin in 25 years.”
The pilot says he knew the only way they would make it out alive was to remain calm, ironically just like the words on his t-shirt. Instead of landing on the center lane, he touched down within feet of traveling cars. “The grounds coming up, the trees are getting bigger, the cars are getting bigger, the power lines are getting thicker, you know,” said McKnight.
McKnight says he came close to hitting one of the poles along the side of the road. He had to maneuver around multiple obstacles to make sure his landing was safe. “I actually had to fly around light poles and over a power line to land right on the interstate.”
McKnight, a Marine Corps veteran, says he trained for moments just like this one during pilot school: staying calm and putting his skills to the test to carry on. It would appear he passed with flying colors. “What do you do when the engine quits? It wasn’t like ‘oh, what do I do?’ I was like, ‘oh, the engine quit, deal with it this way.’ And that’s what I did.”

Categories: Local News, News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *