SAN JOSE, Calif. — A small plane made an emergency landing Thursday on a busy street in the heart of Silicon Valley, surprising morning commuters but touching down and stopping without injuring anyone.

The Bellanca Citabria took off from a San Jose airport just before 8 a.m., but the pilot soon notified air traffic controllers that he needed to go back, Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Laura Brown said. Instead, he ended up needing to use the eight-lane Capitol Expressway as a runway and successfully navigated a landing through power lines and cars before pulling over into a right-hand turn lane, San Jose police Sgt. Heather Randol said.

“It required some skill on (the pilot’s) part,” Randol said. “We’re just thankful nobody got injured.”

The fixed-wing, single-engine aircraft is owned by Amelia Reid Aviation LLC. The company operates a flight school out of the Reid-Hillview Airport, according to the FAA.

The school’s owner, Zdravko Podolski, said a student was behind the controls of the aircraft when it experienced engine trouble at takeoff. The instructor immediately took over.


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