Ellie Rushing and Amy S. Rosenberg
The Philadelphia Inquirer
A small banner plane made an emergency landing on the Ninth Street Bridge in Ocean City, N.J., Monday afternoon.
Landon Lucas, an 18-year-old pilot with Paramount Air Service, was flying a banner near Atlantic City’s Steel Pier when his plane began experiencing engine trouble, said Doug Bergen, Ocean City’s public information officer.
Lucas released the banner into the ocean, and attempted to reach the Ocean City Municipal Airport before noticing a gap in traffic in the westbound lanes on the Route 52 Causeway. Lucas landed the plane on the bridge with no damage to himself, motorists, or the plane, Bergen said.
Westbound traffic was reduced to a single lane for most of the afternoon, while both inbound lanes into Ocean City remained open. Shortly after 4:30 p.m., they wheeled the plane to the bridge turnoff, drained its fuel, and removed the wings.
Lucas declined to talk to a reporter at the scene.
Passersby gathered on the side of the bridge to see the spectacle.
“I thought it was very odd,” said Dan Edinger, who was driving to Ocean City and saw the plane sitting on the side of the road. Edinger parked on the other side of the bridge and walked down to get a better look. Evelyn Frannigan did the same.
“It looks like he did a good job landing it, just not at an airport,” she said.
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