Pilot saves 3 lives with emergency landing on Route 422 in Berks County

By KYW Newsradio 1060

UPDATED: 11:20 a.m.

BERKS COUNTY, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — A day trip for a lobster dinner in Portsmouth, New Hampshire ended with an emergency landing on a two-lane highway near Reading, Pennsylvania Monday night.

Fortunately, the three people aboard escaped injury, after the pilot of the single-engine airplane made an emergency landing on a stretch of Route 422 in Berks County.

NBC 10 video showed the plane sitting in the middle of Benjamin Franklin Highway in Exeter Township.

The 22-year-old pilot from New York told investigators he lost engine power at 4,000 feet and knew he had to quickly locate a place to land.

“He said he saw lights, and he knew it was a road and he landed,” said Exeter Township Police Sgt. Sean Fullerton. “He got very lucky. There are wires going across the highway all along, and he put it right under the set of wires there and landed safely.

“There are wires before where he landed, after where he landed. So, very lucky on his part. Excellent piloting skills and nerves of steel.”

The plane managed to come to a stop in the westbound lanes of Route 422, just before a traffic signal at Daniel Boone Road. It nicked a compact car on the highway during the landing, breaking a rear window.

Another man and woman, also in their 20s, were also aboard the Cessna 182 aircraft. No one was seriously injured. 

The stretch of highway was closed for about 90 minutes Monday night until the plane could be safely removed from the scene.

Fullerton said the pilot and passengers were originally headed for Smoketown Airport in Lancaster.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.​