Plane that landed on Gwinnett interstate was making 2nd flight of day

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Aircraft popular for training; no injuries reported

A single-engine plane that landed on I-985 North in Gwinnett County on Tuesday afternoon, temporarily blocking traffic during the busy evening commute, was towed away.

The plane successfully touched down on I-985 North just past the split from I-85 at about 4:15 p.m., according to the Federal Aviation Administration, and could be seen sitting in the travel lanes. According to Gwinnett fire spokesman Ryan McGiboney, the plane came into contact with a semi-trailer on the interstate when it landed.

All lanes were reopened after the plane was removed from the interstate, officials said. A tow truck began to move the plane around 5:30 p.m., eventually pulling it up the exit ramp to Buford Drive, Gwinnett police said.

Credit: Natrice Miller

Credit: Natrice Miller

The FAA said the plane is a 1966 single-engine Piper PA-28 Cherokee and had two people on board, a pilot and a passenger. According to Flight Aware, it took off from the Gwinnett County Airport just after 3:20 p.m. and landed on the highway just after 4:10 p.m.

Several motorists continued to stream by the plane until first responders arrived and shut down the interstate, Channel 2 Action News reported.

Firefighters responded to the scene at about 4:15 p.m. and found no one injured and no fire, according to officials. The two occupants had already exited the plane by the time fire crews arrived, McGiboney said.

Credit: Flight Aware

Credit: Flight Aware

The Georgia State Patrol is handling the ground investigation, while the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the flight and the cause of the emergency landing.

The Piper Cherokee is a popular model for pilot training and flight schools, said Channel 2 chief meteorologist and private pilot Brad Nitz. The plane involved in Tuesday’s incident was taking its second flight of the day and sixth in the past five days, according to Flight Aware data.

Officials have not said why the plane landed on the interstate.

— Please return to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for updates.