PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) –
A Maine flight instructor says, John Gayley, who landed his 1947 Cessna on I-295 in Bowdoinham on Tuesday made a smart decision under the circumstances.
The Maine State Police say Gayley, who lives in Bowdoin, had just taken off from a Bowdoinham airport with his passenger, Rodney Voisine, when they had engine trouble.
Gayley landed the plane on the highway near Exit 37, but it crashed into a guardrail.
Pete Chaisson has been a pilot and flight instructor for years and owns Portland Flight Services at the Portland International Jetport.
NEWS CENTER called him up to find out what may have driven Gayley to land on a busy highway.
Chaisson had actually flown over the spot where Gayley crashed Tuesday afternoon and says Gayley did the right thing.
“It didn't look like the exact textbook landing from the way I saw it but he walked away from it so hats off to him,” said Chaisson. “If he had that engine failure at a low altitude, you don't have a lot of options other than landing in the trees.”
Gayley told police his engine stalled when switching fuel tanks.
According to Maine Medical Center, Gayley was still in the hospital in “fair condition” Tuesday evening.