Thursday, February 11 , 2016, 10:41 am | Fair 69º

No Injuries as Plane Lands on Highway 101 Near Gaviota

Cessna 172 eventually was refueled and flown back to Santa Barbara Airport

No one was injured Friday afternoon when a Cessna 172 landed on Highway 101 near Gaviota. The aircraft may have run out of fuel.
No one was injured Friday afternoon when a Cessna 172 landed on Highway 101 near Gaviota. The aircraft may have run out of fuel.  (Urban Hikers photo)

By Tom Bolton, Noozhawk Executive Editor | @tombol | updated logo 9:32 p.m. |

After being refueled, a small plane takes off on Highway 101 at Gaviota for the flight to the Santa Barbara Airport. (Urban Hikers photo)

A light aircraft, apparently out of fuel, made an emergency landing on Highway 101 near Gaviota Friday afternoon, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

The single-engine plane, a Cessna 172, landed on the southbound highway about a mile south of Mariposa Reina, firefighter Paul Christensen said.

After touching down, it taxied to the side of the roadway.

"The plane landed on the freeway, it did not crash," Christensen said.

Only the pilot was on board, and he was uninjured in the incident, which occurred at about 4:30 p.m., fire officials said.

About two hours later, after the aircraft was refueled, the freeway was shut down briefly, allowing the plane to takeoff from the highway and be flown back to the Santa Barbara Airport.

The 25-year-old student pilot from Michigan reportedly was returning to Santa Barbara on a training flight after stops in Paso Robles and Santa Maria.

The aircraft apparently was trying to make it to the Santa Barbara Airport when the engine cut out at about 5,000 feet over the Gaviota Pass, and it was forced to land.

The slow lane in the area was blocked off while officials worked to secure the aircraft, Christensen said, and motorists in the area were urged to use caution.

A non-injury vehicle accident occurred in the northbound lanes shortly after the plane touched down, presumably involving a driver distracted by the aircraft landing on the highway.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

» on 09.27.13 @ 07:26 PM

A really unforgettable long cross country for this flight student, probably with a crosswind freeway landing. I’m glad it ended safely.

» on 09.28.13 @ 09:05 AM

Having flown this exact location years back he is lucky.  This was a time when winds were blowing and with the “Pass” it gets a bit interesting with cross winds a distinct possibility.

The pilot better hope there was a fuel gauge malfunction.  The FAA takes a dim view of such dry fuel tank conditions.  Wonder what the expense is on trucking fuel these days?

» on 09.28.13 @ 09:45 AM

Doesn’t running out of fuel bring heavy sanctions and fines from the FAA?  We aren’t supposed to have planes falling down upon us because the pilots were negligent in calculating fuel.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.


Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.