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Small plane lands safely on Mesa freeway during morning rush

(ADOT Traffic Camera Photo)

PHOENIX – A pilot safely made an emergency landing on a Mesa freeway during commuter rush hour Tuesday morning.

The small plane touched down on eastbound Loop 202 near Higley Road around 6 a.m. after experiencing engine trouble, a federal agency said.

A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration said neither of the two people aboard were injured.

The Arizona Department of Transportation said the plane, which had taken off from nearby Falcon Field Airport, initially blocked the HOV lane but there was minimal disruption to traffic.

Troopers with the Arizona Department of Public Safety and other first responders helped push the plane across lanes to the shoulder of the roadway.

No other information was immediately available.

Rich Lagrand was driving westbound on the freeway near Recker Road when he saw the plane slowly descend.

“He set her down sweet as can be,” Lagrand told KTAR News 92.3 FM. “Everybody could see what was happening and moved to the right, gave him plenty of space.

“I’d fly with that guy anytime. Maybe not that plane.”

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