Student Pilot Makes Miraculous Emergency Landing on Busy Huntington Beach Street

A student pilot flying a Cessna 172 in Southern California made a flawless emergency landing on a busy Huntington Beach street after losing power and radioing a distress call to John Wayne Airport tower last Friday.

In a tense call to the tower, the female pilot flying the Cessna told controllers she needed to land the plane, according to a recording of the incident on

“Mayday, mayday, mayday!” the pilot says in a strained voice. “Emergency landing.”

“Put it down wherever you can,” the tower controller told the pilot. “We have help on the way.”

Video from a security camera on Hamilton Avenue shows the Cessna touching down just before 5 p.m., avoiding vehicles on the narrow and heavily congested roadway to come to a stop in the middle of the street without a scratch. Nobody was injured in the incident.

“Let the instructor know her student landed off field and they are safe,” the tower controller says in the audio.

The 2014 Cessna had taken off from John Wayne Airport and was returning to the field when it lost power, according to the FAA, which is investigating the cause of the loss of engine power.


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