‘Went With My Gut': Small Plane Makes Emergency Landing on 55 Freeway in Orange County

The Beech G33 was inbound to John Wayne Airport when the pilot reported engine trouble

A 24-year-old pilot experiencing engine failure went with his "gut" Sunday evening, safely landing the small plane he was flying onto an Orange County freeway.

Pilot Izzy Slod of North Hollywood and his passenger Daniel Gross were en route from San Diego to Van Nuys when the plane lost power.

The friends were flying over the ocean a mile or two off the coast when they started gliding down and realized they couldn’t restart the engine.

Slod said he quickly contacted air traffic control to alert them he would be landing a 1971 Beechcraft Bonanza on the 55 Freeway in Costa Mesa.

The plane dodged traffic and landed in the number five lane shortly before 8 p.m. near the Del Mar exit, California Highway Patrol officials said.

"You don't have a choice, you have a minute, maybe two minutes max to figure something out," Slod said. "I went with my gut on the freeway. I didn't know if I was going to make it." 

There were no reported injuries. 

Aerial footage from NewsChopper 4 showed vehicles driving past the plane along the shoulder off the freeway. 

"Wondering why there is so much traffic and it's because of a plane crash on the freeway," witness Nick Dunner posted on Instagram

Caltrans issued a SigAlert around 8:45 p.m. The three far right lanes were blocked until further notice while the two left lanes remain open. 

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the emergency landing. 

NBC4's Joe Studley and Marin Austin contributed to this report. 

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