Pilot makes ‘miraculous’ landing on Signal Hill street after aiming for 405 Freeway, police say

A small plane landed on Orange Avenue along the Long Beach-Signal Hill border around 10:30 a.m. today.

The single-engine aircraft, a Piper PA28, made it to the ground safely just outside Willow Springs Park, which is between Willow and Spring streets, according to authorities.

Signal Hill Police Chief Christopher Nunley said the pilot started having engine problems shortly after taking off from Long Beach Airport and initially tried to land on the 405 Freeway.

When there were too many cars there, he set down on Orange Avenue without hitting any vehicles or the many power lines in the area, “which is miraculous,” Nunley told camera crews at the scene.

The pilot was the only person aboard and was not injured. Even the plane suffered no damage, Nunley said.

The plane is registered to the Long Beach Flying Club and Flight Academy, according to the FAA. It was built in 1979.

The FAA will investigate, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department tweeted that the plane was not leaking anything and there was no danger to the public.

Staff writer Kelly Puente contributed to this report.

The single-engine aircraft, a Piper PA28, made it to the ground safely. Photo by Thomas R Cordova.

A small plane landed near Orange Avenue shortly before 10:30 a.m. Monday.

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Jeremiah Dobruck is the breaking news editor for the Long Beach Post. He began his journalism career in 2007 as an intern at Palos Verdes Peninsula News and has worked for The Forum Newsgroup in New York City, the Daily Pilot and the Press-Telegram. He lives in Torrance with his wife, Lindsey, and their two young children, Paul and Simon.