Back to Squawk list
  • 59

Caught on video: small plane makes spectacular emergency landing on highway near Quebec City

A small plane (Piper PA-28 Cherokee) caused a stir this morning when it landed on a highway near Quebec City. Motorists who were driving on Highway 40 near the municipality of St-Augustin-de-Desmaures alerted the police around 10:40 a.m. Sgt. Helene Nepton of the provincial police said the aircraft landed without incident, and nobody on the plane or on the highway was injured. ( More...

Sort type: [Top] [Newest]

Paul Wisgerhof 20
Excellent piloting job putting it down between the two sets of overhead signs. As the old saying goes, "Any landing you can walk away from is acceptable; any landing where you can fly the plane the next day is excellent."
ToddBaldwin3 16
Very nice landing. I was amused at the folks filming the landing. They just kept on driving, like it was not a big deal.
David Tsai 3
They got places to be, probably.
sancollins 1
At the end of the video they just looked at their right like it was another slow car. Great landing btw!
Greg S 7
Oh that was awesome, merged smoothly right into traffic using the "vertical" lane. It almost looked like he was going to take the exit and leave the highway.
Rick Hunt 11
Bill: You obviously have no piloting or instructional experience. Since small planes have landing speeds close to average vehicle highway speeds these kind of emergency landings rarely result in any vehicle damage or injury. This pilot did a great job....
bbabis -7
Please look at qualifications before posting Rick. My statements come from plenty of experience, both good and bad in many aspects of aviation. I did not say the pilot did a bad job. The pilot was forced to do a good job due to a poor decision. Aircraft to auto collision is not the only concern. Collision with obstructions or stalling to clear that last one can lead to disaster. Associated accidents between autos will often occur due to surprised, distracted, and rubbernecking drivers. Nothing gets safer simply by getting away with it. Actually, the opposite is true.

Safe travels and blue skies.
Phil Stanley 4
Good job! We do what we have to do!
Ed Allen 6
Phil Caron 3
Remember that the pilot in command is the sole decision maker when faced with an emergency. He/she did the best they could according to what they saw over the cowling and the wingtips. Lots of what ifs in the comments, but you were not there experiencing the issue, so please!
No other choice, l. The pilot performed well So did the drivers.
I'll just pull over here in the Emergency lane, thanks for letting me in !
Excellent landing
airbusflyboy 2
Excellent performance !!! Now I can see how to move a disabled aircraft using a tow truck, very informative ........... BRAVO !!!

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Jasper Buck 10
What makes you think that this incident was a "very poor decision" on the part of the pilot?

The aircraft, a Piper Cherokee PA28-140, was said to have had a mechanical issue. Hard to say what that the issue was but the prop was windmilling at the time of the landing which leads me to think that the engine failed.

So what was the pilot supposed to do? He (or she) couldn't use the median it was full of lamp posts, looking off the highway we can see rolling hills, more lamp posts, a lot of trees, buildings, etc. Perhaps from the pilot's perspective landing on the highway between the cars was his only or best option. His approach speed was probably about the same speed of the cars (Cherokees aren't that fast). He just had to fit in as it were.

So just what are your qualifications? You said in another message that "my statements come from plenty of experience, both good and bad in many aspects of aviation." Fair enough. Tell us what your aeronautical experience is. Certificate(s), ratings, hours, etc.


J Buck
ATP DC-9 B757 B767
A&P Mechanic
FAA Aviation Safety Inspector (Ret.)
FAA certified accident investigator (Ret.)
ICAO Accident Investigation Panel
bbabis -4
FA is not for pissing contests Jasper. You should know that. And with all that experience. it is a shame that you either missed or forgot a basic of instruction. Do not endanger others. The "B" in the ABCs of emergency landings is "B"est landing area. The first prerequisite of that is away from people and buildings. A crowded highway doesn't quite fit that check box. Open roads, might. We do not know and probably never will know all the details of this event and the hand this pilot was dealt. My only concern is the media calling pilots that land on busy roads heroes and the like which could put that silly idea in the head of the next pilot faced with a similar situation and as we both know there will be. In an emergency, the pilot has the absolute authority to do whatever is necessary to deal with the situation, but if those actions kill or injure someone on the ground, the liability is also absolutely with the pilot. Food for thought. Congrats on the great career.
Bill start pissing contest
Bill lose pissing contest
Bill say pissing contest bad
john kilcher 3
2 thumbs up!!!
Jasper Buck 1
"We do not know and probably never will know all the details of this event and the hand this pilot was dealt"

I generally agree with that statement. But, from a U.S. standpoint there is plenty of information that helps the pilot learn how to handle an emergency situation, the risks involved in the decision making process, and the knowledge the pilot must demonstrate during his/her airman practical test. Please read and study all the following which I think will give you a better understanding of the handling of emergencies in an aircraft.

14 CFR 91.3 Responsibility and authority of the pilot in command.
(a) The pilot in command of an aircraft is directly responsible for, and is the final authority as to, the operation of that aircraft.

(b) In an in-flight emergency requiring immediate action, the pilot in command may deviate from any rule of this part to the extent required to meet that emergency.

Airman Testing

Private Pilot ‒ Airplane Airman Certification Standards FAA-S-ACS-6B

Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge FAA-H-8083-25B

Airplane Flying Handbook (FAA-H-8083-3B)

When you've digested all the foregoing get back to me. Oh, and I ask again, what are your qualifications? It would be nice to know if I'm talking to a non-pilot, student pilot, an ATP pilot, etc.


ginbudjim21 10
You still angry at the wise instructor who washed you out of flight training years ago ??


Don't have an account? Register now (free) for customized features, flight alerts, and more!
Did you know that FlightAware flight tracking is supported by advertising?
You can help us keep FlightAware free by allowing ads from We work hard to keep our advertising relevant and unobtrusive to create a great experience. It's quick and easy to whitelist ads on FlightAware or please consider our premium accounts.