FAA investigating emergency landing on I-295

7:47 PM, Nov 22, 2013   |    comments
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CUMBERLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Federal Aviation Administration continues to investigate why a small, single engine plane made an emergency landing on Interstate 295. 

The Cessna 152, with only the pilot aboard, dodged rush hour traffic on the busy highway before coming to a rest in the southbound passing lane and median just after five o'clock on Thursday. 

The pilot, Sachin Hejeji of Falmouth reported that the plane lost power while he was returning to the Portland International Jetport after flying to Waterville earlier in the day. 

The plane swooped in low over the roadway in near pitch black conditions, and was able to avoid being hitting other vehicles or causing an accident.  Witnesses say it was a miracle no one and nothing was struck.

"I noticed a couple of blue lights, [thought it] looked a little bit odd, and then all of a sudden I saw a plane heading south on 295," recounted Dave Brosemer, a photojournalist with NECN who was driving north when the plane landed.  "Boy, he did a great job.  Pitch black.  Rush hour traffic.  He found the perfect sweet spot to put that plane down and the story had a happy ending."

Jim Iacono, director of business development with Maine Aviation, which rented the plane to Hejeji, says the pilot stayed calm and used his training to avoid disaster.

"You are always taught to look for an open area if you run into trouble like a highway or a golf course or a field, preferably out of the way of any people," explained Iacono.  "He did everything he was taught to do and he did it well considering the circumstances."

He says the company also has mechanics looking into what went wrong.

"We do suspect that it could be a low fuel issue," said Iacono.


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