Startling cellphone video captured the moment the pilot of a small plane turned a busy Southwest Miami-Dade roadway into a runway to make a heart-stopping emergency landing.
Witness Juliette Vega-Gonzalez said she was astonished to see the outlandish sight along Krome Avenue, about one and a half miles from Tamiami Executive Airport, Saturday afternoon.
“When I realized that it crossed over against oncoming traffic is when I started to freak out,” she said, “because I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh, like, there’s cars coming.’”
“I started seeing the shadows on the trees, on the side of Krome Avenue,” she said. “It looked like a big bird, and then I looked over the windshield, and I noticed that there was a plane flying over us.”
“When I saw it, it was already kind of going to the side and going the opposite way of the traffic, and I was like, ‘Wow, that’s going down,’” said Gonzalez.
The single-engine Piper J-5A Cub did go down, landing near oncoming traffic.
Cellphone video captured the moment witnesses made contact with the pilot, who, authorities said, was the only occupant on board.
“Hey! Awesome, bro!” Gonzalez is heard screaming at the pilot in the video.
“It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Vega-Gonzalez.
The Federal Aviation Administration said the pilot is OK.
7News cameras even captured him helping to push the plane onto a truck to be towed away.
Vega-Gonzalez and her husband said they’re happy this forced landing ended the way it did.