Monday, January 29, 2018

Beech G33 Bonanza, N9337Q: Incident occurred January 28, 2018 in Costa Mesa, Orange County, California

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Long Beach

Aircraft declared emergency due to engine issue and force landed in a field.

Date: 29-JAN-18
Time: 03:45:00Z
Regis#: N9337Q
Aircraft Make: BEECH
Aircraft Model: G33
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: UNKNOWN
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: NONE
Activity: UNKNOWN
Operation: 91

A man described as an "experienced pilot" flew under an overpass and made a safe emergency landing on the 55 Freeway in Costa Mesa on Sunday after his plane experienced engine failure.

The incident was reported about 7:50 p.m. according to the Costa Mesa Fire Department.

The occupants were out of the plane and no injuries were reported the fire department tweeted.

The pilot, who only gave his first name, Izzy, and his friend were heading to Van Nuys from San Diego when the "engine quit" on them.

Izzy said he had a choice of flying the Beechcraft bonanza to John Wayne Airport or landing on the beach, but strong winds prevented from getting to the airport.

“I saw an opening on the highway and I went for it right away," Izzy said. "I had to make a last minute, last second judgement on whether or not we could make it over, and we didn’t have the airspeed to make it over, so I went under it."

The plane landed near the northbound exit of Del Mar Avenue near the Orange County Fairgrounds.

Costa Mesa Fire Capt. Chris Coatez said that the call came in as a plane crash at the fairgrounds, but first responders found the plane was intact.

He said it was a "complete miracle" that traffic was light on the freeway when the pilot decided to land there.

Coatez explained that strong winds worked for the pilot and against him, adding that they prevented him from getting all the way to the airport, but helped him land safely on the freeway.

Videos from the scene showed the plane on the right side of the highway with no visible damage.

Motorists recorded videos of the plane as they passed by it on the highway. Twitter user Dora Noriega tweeted "Plane landed on the 55 North we just missed it!"

Several lanes of the highway were closed as California Highway Patrol officials tried to get the plane off the road, causing a back up.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the incident, a spokesman told the Los Angeles Times.

Story, video and photos ➤

COSTA MESA – A 24-year-old pilot made a split-second decision to fly beneath an overpass before finishing a safe, emergency landing Sunday, Jan. 28, onto the 55 freeway, a California Highway Patrol spokesman said.

The pilot, who has been flying planes since age 15, seemed unfazed after his single-engine Beech 633 rolled to a stop at around 7:35 p.m. onto the northbound 55, said California Highway Patrol Officer Florentino Olivera, who is an agency spokesman.

“I asked him, ‘Were you scared or nervous?’ ” Olivera said on Monday. “He said that he started going through his emergency procedures and didn’t have time to be scared.”

The pilot, whose name was not released by authorities, reported that he and a passenger were en route from San Diego to Van Nuys when the plane suddenly lost power.

The pilot was unable to reach John Wayne Airport, forcing him to fly through the 108-foot-wide, 17-foot-tall opening below the overpass that connects Fair Drive and Del Mar Avenue in Costa Mesa, a mile south of the 73.

“No cars were hit and no one was injured,” Olivera said, adding it was fortunate that traffic on the 55 freeway was light. “It’s a miracle. … He was just coming in with the wind. He had no power.”

Planes landing on Southern California freeways aren’t unheard of. In June 2017, a Cessna crashed onto the I-405 freeway near John Wayne Airport, injuring the husband and wife aboard the plane but no one on the freeway.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating Sunday’s incident.

Story, video and photos ➤


  1. Talk about some serious piloting skills! This guy needs to be flying stunts in the movies. Nice looking Bonanza.

  2. This guy just got his pilots license a year ago. More money than brains and most likely he ran it out of fuel. This plane looks to good to have too many problems. Flying under an overpass?? He is most likely LUCKY rather than skilled.

  3. Hey Anonymous....why are you such a t-u-r-D ont you think anybody butt you could do something like this, ur probably not even a pilot.
    We neee man you should shut up.

  4. To the Anonymous commented that posted at 12:53 PM EST on 1/30:

    I happen to know the pilot -- having flown with him prior to this occurrence -- and rest assured, he did not get his pilots license a year ago. You are misinformed, likely because you simply searched the FAA Airmen Database and referenced the first date you saw. The FAA will update the date of issuance anytime a change is made to his record -- i.e. if he moves and updates his address.

    You are most likely a troll so I will refrain from commenting further. Good luck to you and I hope you never find yourself in the same situation. Karma may not be too kind.



  5. Latest info is the aircraft experienced a catastrophic engine failure at 5,500' while flying over the water. The pilot declared an emergency, then he and his passenger did a commendable job of working together to achieve a very good outcome. Kudos for skillful piloting. Kudos to both pilot and passenger for a textbook exercise in CRM, and kudos for both for the safe outcome for all in the aircraft and on the ground. Can't argue with success. John