Teen pilot makes emergency landing on New Jersey bridge

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Teen pilot makes emergency landing on New Jersey bridge

It was a banner landing.

A quick-thinking 18-year-old pilot touched down his single-engine airplane on a bridge in South Jersey Monday afternoon in an emergency landing, according to reports.

Landon Lucas, who flies for Paramount Air Service, reported that his banner-toting Piper developed engine trouble as he flew near Steel Pier in Atlantic City, WPVI reported.

The fast-acting aviator released his banner into the ocean as he tried reaching the Ocean City Municipal Airport, but decided to set the plane down on the Route 52 Causeway.

He landed without a scratch to himself or to anyone else on the road, officials said.

Eyewitness Daniel Lepone told the news outlet that he was on his way home when he saw the aircraft “going lower and lower.”

“I heard a loud boom and the propeller and it was really loud and I could see it just drift down slowly. It was pretty scary,” he said.

A small plane landing on a bridge.
Landon Lucas reported that his banner-toting Piper developed engine trouble as he flew near the Steel Pier in Atlantic City.OCNJ Drone Facebook

Justin Dugary, a pilot who saw the drama unfold from his boat, told Fox 29 that Lucas’ landing was a textbook example of what to do in an emergency.

Landon Lucas is seen proudly displaying a certificate while standing by a Cessna 172.
Landon Lucas successfully brought the aircraft down without injury to himself or anyone on the bridge.
Landon Lucas Facebook

“It’s not easy. It’s really a challenge. I’m very proud of him. It’s really phenomenal that he was able to do this safely,” he said.

Rose Savastano, who works at the nearby Ocean City Welcome Center, said she could see the pilot standing by the plane soon after the landing.

“He did a perfect landing. He’s fine,” she told the Press of Atlantic City.

The Federal Aviation Administration — which is investigating the incident along with the National Transportation Safety Board — said the pilot of the Piper J3C-65 Cub declared an emergency at 12:37 p.m.

On his Facebook page, Lucas is seen proudly displaying a certificate while standing by a Cessna 172.

“Officially a commercial pilot!” he wrote April 30.

Paramount Air Service did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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