'It was either this or the buildings:' plane makes emergency landing on Highway 407 in Markham
Published Wednesday, October 27, 2021 11:15AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, October 27, 2021 4:58PM EDT
The pilot of a plane that made an emergency landing on Highway 407 in Markham on Wednesday morning says touching down on the busy roadway was his only safe option.
The plane touched down in the eastbound lanes of the highway near Woodbine Avenue off ramp sometime before 11 a.m.
An image circulating on social media showed a single engine propeller plane on the roadway, with police vehicles parked behind it.
OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt told CP24 the aircraft took off safely but encountered problems soon after.
"They experienced at some engine sputtering. They looked back at the airfield to see if they could make it back to Buttonville," he said.
He said the plane had just completed regular maintenance prior to the flight.
The pilot told the OPP he departed Buttonville Airport and reached an altitude of 2,000 feet when the engine on the plane began to sputter.
“Once we turned towards Buttonville, we knew we couldn’t make the field, it was a really tough decision,” the pilot, who police identified as Ibrahim, said. “At that point we had to turn right for the highway.”
He said he and his co-pilot tried to restart the plane’s engine, but assumed it was not coming back.
He said putting down on the highway was his only viable option.
“It was either this or the buildings. I was happy this worked out.”