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18 July 2024

Pilot without licence lands plane on highway


A wealthy businessman who landed his private plane on a highway in central India this week had been flying without a licence, reports said Thursday.

The four-seater plane landed safely on the four-lane highway in Betul district of Madhya Pradesh state on Tuesday after becoming caught in rough weather, reports said.

Video footage showed it descending over trees and power poles before coming in for a bumpy landing on the highway, about 180 kilometres (112 miles) from state capital Bhopal.

A small crowd of people gathered around the Piper Navajo plane as trucks and police cars pulled up nearby.

The pilot had been flying in the region "without a valid licence" after his old one expired in 2001, the Times of India reported, quoting an aviation official.

The pilot, a local businessman, had targeted the highway after being denied permission to land at a nearby dam for security reasons, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.