This Was An Excellent Landing

I’m not being facetious in the title.

This happened around 10:30am on a recent Thursday morning.

Yes, the plane looks pitiful:

But when we pull back from the picture to see where the plane ended up – in El Cajon, CA – you’ll see why I think this was an excellent landing.

El Cajon is located about 16 miles northeast of San Diego: 

The population is around 107,000 people in 15 square miles – pretty dense.

Now let’s look at where the plane crashed:

The plane crashed on Greenfield Drive.

And do you see those yellow lines on the map?

That’s the Interstate 8 freeway.

The plane crashed where Greenfield Drive and the I-8 intersect.

Freeways in San Diego County – including the I-8 – often look like this:

Now let’s go back and look at the plane…

It crashed on Greenfield Drive between the east- and westbound-sides of the I-8 freeway.

Not on the freeway.

Not on the nearby houses, schools, churches or businesses.

Not like this plane near El Cajon just eight months earlier:

This plane crashed, burned, damaged a home and took down power lines.

There were no survivors in that crash.

In our excellent landing, the pilot survived.

And what about other people – was anyone hurt?

According to this article:

When it hit the street, “the aircraft grazed an SUV.”

That must have been horrifying for the driver.

Fortunately, she was uninjured, able to pull her car over to the side of the street, and later talk to reporters:

One reporter suggested that after such good luck, she should buy a lottery ticket.


I haven’t found any follow-up stories so we don’t know much about the pilot who survived this:

We know he’s a San Diego resident but don’t know his name.  He was taken to a hospital “for treatment of significant but apparently not life-threatening trauma.”

We know that, according to the CHP, “Alcohol or drugs were not considered a factor in the crash at this time.”

We don’t know if the cause of the crash was a pilot error, mechanical failure, both, or neither.

We don’t know if the pilot was trying to land on the I-8 freeway – as some articles have suggested – or if he had another option in mind.

We don’t know where the pilot was coming from or headed to.

We don’t know if the excellent landing was due to the pilot’s skills, a copious amount of good luck, or both.

But considering that aircraft crashes in San Diego County neighborhoods seem to be a regular – and often fatal – occurrence, according to an NBC 7 San Diego recently aired story with these statistics:

And considering that one of those crashes took place this past October in Santee, about three miles away from El Cajon…

And that Santee crash killed the pilot, and a UPS driver who was months away from retirement; several others were injured; two homes were destroyed…

…and at least another five homes were damaged…

I’d say our El Cajon pilot’s landing was…

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