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Feb-25-2007 16:44printcomments

Amphibian Airplane Makes Emergency Landing on Interstate 84 East of Baker City

The plane with a 48-foot wingspan made a safe landing on the freeway due to bad weather.

Plane on freeway
Photos courtesy: Oregon State Police

(BAKER CITY) - A 34-year Oregon State Police veteran thought he had seen it all until he saw an amphibian-style airplane in his rearview mirror after it made an emergency landing Sunday morning on Interstate 84 about fifteen miles east of Baker City due to poor weather conditions.

The plane was able to take off about three hours later with the assistance of Oregon State Police troopers and Oregon Department of Transportation personnel.

On Sunday, February 25th at about 10:50 AM, OSP Senior Trooper Robert Hereau was stopped on Interstate 84 eastbound near milepost 320 at the scene of a non-injury traffic crash when he heard a loud noise. According to Sergeant Darin Helman, the senior trooper looked in his rearview mirror and saw an airplane taxiing on the eastbound lanes coming up behind the patrol car.

Senior Trooper Hereau allowed the 1952 DeHavilland DHC-2Mark1 "Beaver" amphibian plane go past the patrol car and continue eastbound until it found a wide area on the side of the freeway to pull off to allow other traffic to be able to pass the plane which has about a 48-foot wingspan. Senior Trooper Hereau followed the plane up to the point where it was able to stop and contacted the two occupants.

The pilot, 55-year old Jerry Alan Scudero, from Ketchikan, Alaska, told OSP that he was flying the plane to a Pendleton-area airport while enroute to Alaska when weather conditions began to "sock in" the plane. Scudero said he had to make an emergency landing on the freeway and had been taxiing for about two miles to find a wide area to pull off onto when he saw the OSP trooper.

Neither Scudero or his passenger, 58-year old Jerry Foresyth, from Saanichton, British Columbia, were injured.

With the assistance of ODOT and a local tow company, the plane was later moved back onto the eastbound lanes when weather conditions improved.

At about 1:30 PM, the plane was able to take off again and resume on its trip.

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lj February 13, 2008 5:56 pm (Pacific time)

boy so many of you want to play the part mr know it all and slap eachother with snide comments now i know why no one likes loud drama queens it was a cool story but none of you could leave it at that your all babies grow up and i hope none of you are ever my pilot who would want to fly with such arogance

Bob March 1, 2007 6:08 pm (Pacific time)

I think that it is commendable that this pilot utilized the Eisenhower Interstate System. What he did likely saved his life as well as the life of his passenger. It's been about 6 years since I have flown and about 13 years since I went to school to become a law enforcement officer. If it were me behind that badge I would have done the same thing.

DHM March 1, 2007 4:21 pm (Pacific time)

What story? It is a non-story, being perpetuated by the media that wants to make something out of nothing.

Bruce March 1, 2007 10:43 am (Pacific time)

Despite ignorant comments to the contrary, the system worked exactly as it was supposed to. The pilot in command, with final authority for the safety of the flight, acted appropriately - instead of pressing on into deadly weather, nobody was hurt, and no damage occurred. I would say "yawn" were it not so unusual that everything worked right. So often some self appointed idiot wants to kill or imprison the pilot(s) and passengers because "they could have been terrorists". The pilot in this case - and the Oregon HP both get my salute. If only Illinois and New York would take Oregon's wise lead.

Jeff March 1, 2007 10:03 am (Pacific time)

Thank goodness that President Eisenhower had the forethought back in the 50's to make provision in the Interstate System's original plan to have these roads double as landing sites.

Guy Cole March 1, 2007 9:40 am (Pacific time)

I am also a pilot and I also want to add "well done" to the Oregon State Patrol. No harm was done, and common sense ruled the day. P.S. Some of you are obviously interested in aviation but not yet pilots. Please consider getting your license and obtaining first hand knowledge of this topic.

Harry March 1, 2007 6:20 am (Pacific time)

I think it is commendable of your State Patrol to handle this situation the way it appears to have been handled. Too many times technicalities in the law supersede common sense and the situation develops into an ordeal that would have made it much simpler for the airplane to just crash, rather than make a safe landing on a highway. I wish you could send some of those troopers to this state and show them how it really should be done. My hat is off to both the pilot for making this choice, and for the way it was handled.

Bob March 1, 2007 6:16 am (Pacific time)

What a great country we live in! The freedom to do something fun like flying, have nice big highways we can all safely use, and helpful, courteous police and understanding fellow citizens when one of us gets into trouble! This pilot was obviously safe, well trained and thinking of other's safety!!

Folis Jones March 1, 2007 4:24 am (Pacific time)

I am a pilot, he did what he had to do in an emergency. Would you rather he crash into trees somewhere? In an emergency a pilot may deviate from any FAA rule in the interest of safety. Some of the comments from non-pilots show their ignorance. Folis Virginia

JAFO; February 27, 2007 5:48 pm (Pacific time)

seems as though the pilot was a good driver too!, and along with amphibious capabilities, he was ready for anything! we should all be so prepared!, and I wouldn't have cited him either, I was kidding of course.

Slamon February 27, 2007 10:01 am (Pacific time)

This pilot flys daily in the worst conditions know to man in SE Alaska. He is very good at what he does. You notice he safely landed the plane, and did not wreak it. He even taxied to a pullout to let traffice by. If he had to land, it must have been almost a white out. Beats the allternative of plowing into a mountain. Any of you would be lucky to fly with a pilot like him. I have and will do so again.

juneaujad February 26, 2007 5:50 pm (Pacific time)

The pilot made a judgement call- whether to land or to continue flight in poor weather conditions. In regard to Pat's comment "luck" had nothing to do with it. Growing up on an airport does not qualify one to make judgements about this occurence, or to make blanket statements about a pilot's actions in what was likely an unexpected deterioration of in-flight visibility and ceiling. Thank you- An Alaskan Beaver Pilot.

Pat February 26, 2007 2:06 pm (Pacific time)

Normally the FAA will be involved with the pilot at some point. I am sure a police report was filed, which means the pilot will most likely be getting a letter -- maybe even a license suspension. Very lucky he didn't crash or kill himself or others. Just potholes alone make what he did dangerous. I grew up on an airport, so I know just enough that small planes are safe -- the pilots, not so much. :) Pat

JAFO; February 25, 2007 6:55 pm (Pacific time)

was the pilot cited for driving too high or flying too low? I hope all Alaskan's don't take the "freeway" so literally, or ther'd be a traffic jam of P-41's and Catalinas to contend with!, let alone the "flight" risk of the perpatrators! Glad the Hiway Patrol was on it!

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