Pilot crash-lands on freeway

Forgot back-up gas tank

A pilot crash-landed a small airplane on an Idaho freeway during the morning rush hour on Tuesday after he ran out of gas and forgot to switch to a back-up fuel tank, authorities said.

The pilot, Jon Brinkerhoff, made the emergency landing of a 1970 single-engine Cessna just after 7am in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 84 near the Boise Airport, as motorists dialed 911, said Kelsie Massolio, dispatcher with Idaho State Police.

No injuries were reported during the incident, Massolio said.

Brinkerhoff was flying cargo from Washington state to Boise and was on his final approach to the airport in Idaho's capital when he belly-landed the Cessna on the roadway, according to Idaho State Police.

State police said two right lanes of the eastbound interstate were blocked for two hours, during which time the plane was removed from the roadway.

The 30-year-old pilot from Westminster, Colorado, later told authorities he was unable to engage the landing gear when the aircraft experienced what he believed to be engine failure, Idaho troopers said.

Early findings in an investigation under way by state police and the Federal Aviation Administration suggest Brinkerhoff neglected to tap a second fuel tank after the first one emptied, Massolio said.

A Boise man towing a boat behind his truck accidentally clipped the left wing of the aircraft before driving on. The man, Dao Nguyen, 65, later reported the crash to authorities.

"We don't know why he left the scene. Maybe he didn't know he hit it and found out when he got home," Massolio said.

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