Plane makes emergency landing on I-75

Published: Jun. 7, 2018 at 12:23 PM EDT
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Two men are safe after the small plane they were flying had to make an emergency landing on I-75 today near Paynes Prairie.

The pilot was heading to Gainesville Regional Airport with another passenger.

While in the air Thursday afternoon, the pilot reported engine issues and that's when he realized he had to ask fast.

"It was crazy. We were like holy moly,” said Doug and Christel Socia.

Doug and Christel Socia are traveling from Tampa to Detroit.

They stopped at this rest stop two miles north of where the plane landed. The plane was eventually towed to the rest stop.

“I'm glad it didn't land on us.” Christel Socia said.

Some drivers visiting the rest-stop had to do a double take.

"I was wondering what had happened cause a plane at a rest stop is a little unusual,” John Graves, who was traveling to Atlanta, said.

The owner of the plane is Frederick Rhen of Estherville, Iowa.

The plane is registered in Volusia County.

Only two men were on the plane when it landed on I-75 mile near mile marker 382.

"Thank goodness they stopped and landed safely.” Graves said.

The pilot and the passenger declined an interview so it is still unclear where they were traveling from.

Thankfully no one was hurt.

According to a crew member who removed the plane's wings, the plane was driven to Ormond Beach, near Daytona.

The Federal Aviation Administration is still investigating.

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