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9/19/2012 11:30:00 AM
Plane lands on Highway 64
Pilot mistakes roadway for runway
A 1979 Piper PA-28RT Turbo Arrow aircraft sits on Highway 64 after mistaking the roadway for a Grand Canyon Airport runway. Photos Mike McComb
A 1979 Piper PA-28RT Turbo Arrow aircraft sits on Highway 64 after mistaking the roadway for a Grand Canyon Airport runway. Photos Mike McComb
Williams-Grand Canyon News


TUSAYAN, Ariz. - A 1979 Piper PA-28RT Turbo Arrow aircraft with two people on-board landed on Highway 64 Sept. 16.

According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS), the pilot confused the roadway for the runway at Grand Canyon Airport. The landing occurred at mile marker 232. No injuries reported, but traffic was backed up for several miles in both directions.

Response was handled by DPS, the National Park Service, Tusayan Fire, and the United States Forest Service.




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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Article comment by: Mike Alan

The pilot must have been in the ozone to confuse the highway for a runway. He needs to study his AIM. (Airman Information Manual.)

Posted: Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Article comment by: Larry Rummell

My wife and I had just finished a five-day hike across the Grand Canyon and a night at the El Tovar hotel. We were headed south on 64 and had just hit the 65 MPH marker when the plane landed and taxied to a stop about 100 feet in front of us and the pilot turned off the engine. We took a picture but didn't get out because we knew it would soon be mobbed...and it was. A black SUV passed us on our left and drove around the wing tip of the plane (a bit tricky with the deep ditch) and took off south. One person walking by our car told us the pilot said he had "engine trouble." Soon a fireman told us all to turn around and leave the area for an hour while they removed the plane. We drove north, along with the bikers from Denmark and dozens more to Tusayan. We looked at our AAA map and decided to take 302 southeast and meet up with 320 and avoid the plane situation. After some miles the road got rutted and we started turning east, then north. Finally we flagged down two elk hunters in a huge truck with bigger wheels (a preview of roads to come?) and were told that the two roads don't join and that we best head up to 64. We did. Turning west on 64 we went back to the GC entrance and started south all over again. Traffic was slow but the plane was gone. We continued on to Sedona. The next day the local paper said the pilot landed on the wrong runway. Surprise, surprise! The only other excitement happened at home while we were gone when our dog and a skunk had a late-night standoff and our dog came in second. Our daughter washed her with several kinds of soap and tomato juice. She was ashamed but clean when we finally got home to Portland, OR.

Posted: Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Article comment by: John Appleseed

Who does that?



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