Local pilot forced to land on Illinois freeway after engine problems during flight back to Ohio

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ILLINOIS - An Illinois highway turned into a runway for one Ohio pilot after engine failure.

The single-engine plane landed safely on Interstate 180 in LaSalle, Illinois Tuesday night around 5:30 p.m.

Local instructor Danik Kumar was at the controls.

"When I saw that we were landing on a highway my stomach kind of dropped, trying to comprehend the reality of this."

He kept his cool though.

Danik and two others were on their way from Iowa to Ohio when they heard an odd noise.

"We tried to diagnosis the problem but it seemed to get progressively worse."

"We declared an emergency with Chicago center and tried to divert to an airport, we were roughly 20 miles away from the nearest airport."

Danik acted quickly, realizing the highway below was the safest place to land.

"We just kind of leveled off, came over the power lines. Luckily there was 2 semis behind us so they stopped immediately and blocked the traffic for us."

There were no injuries and no damage to the plane.

Google Map for coordinates 40.633125 by -89.398528.

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