HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fl. (NBC) - A pilot is being credited with saving several lives after making an emergency landing on a Florida interstate.
Pilot Charles Pulliam had just left Peter O. Knight airport on Davis Islands Thursday morning, on his way to Miami.
He was nearing Gibsonton when the problems started - too far to get back to the Davis Islands airport, but with no airport in sight.
There were, however, two long strips of asphalt stretching in front of him.
Interstate 75, northbound and southbound.
Pulliam, 64, managed to land in the I-75 median near the Gibsonton Road exit.
He and his two passengers were able to walk away from the plane, which lost a wing in the landing.
During the descent, the plane clipped a power line.
Pulliam tried to land in the southbound lanes of I-75, but didn't because of traffic, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
He then aimed for the northbound shoulder.
As the plane landed it struck a roadway sign, ripping off a wing.
The plane came to rest, along with the detached left wing, in the center median of I-75.
Pulliam's passengers, Walter Poppell Womack, 50, of Spring Hill and William James Sisson, 58, of Tampa - were not injured, FHP said.
When Pulliam landed, he called his daughter, Ashleigh Pulliam, and told her what happened.
Nervous and scared, she rushed to the scene.
"He saved so many people's lives," Pulliam said. "Years of experience shows that."
FHP Master Sgt. David Powell said the pilot told him it was a life experience he didn't want to repeat.
He remained shaken after landing the plane, Powell said.
"He did a good job of landing the airplane under the circumstances," Powell said.