By Andrea McCann
A Beechcraft Bonanza aircraft made an unexpected — but safe — landing in Daviess County Monday morning using the unfinished I-69 as a landing strip.
“There was no damage and no injuries,” said Sgt. Chad Dick, Indiana State Police Public Information Officer for the Jasper District.
The six-passenger plane, registered to Snowbird Aviation Corp. of Signal Mountain, Tenn., had only the pilot on board when it landed on an I-69 northbound lane at Epsom around 11:30 a.m. Initial reports indicate the 1987 fixed-wing, single-engine plane was having some sort of mechanical trouble and needed to make an emergency landing.
Daviess County Airport Manager Jack Miles said he received a call from an Evansville Regional Airport air traffic control official who told him about the situation and that the pilot was going to try to land at Daviess County Airport. According to flightaware.com, the pilot was flying from Chattanooga, Tenn., to Danville, Ill.
“Sometimes things quit and you just land at the nearest safe haven,” Miles said. “He did the right thing and landed on a stretch of I-69.”
He added the landing may have been more precautionary due to a worsening problem than from direct mechanical failure.
An ISP trooper secured the scene until Federal Aviation Administration investigators could arrive. According to the Daviess County Sheriff’s Department, the plane took off around 6 p.m.
Cher Elliott, media relations director for the Indiana Department of Transportation Southwest District, confirmed there was no damage reported to I-69. She said there were no workers in that particular area, so there were no injuries and the workday was not disrupted.