MARYLAND HEIGHTS, MO (KPLR) - Several drivers traveling on the Page Extension in Maryland Heights Monday night watched in amazement as a small plane landed in the middle of the east bound lanes.
Pilot Alan Kreppert told authorities the Piper single engine, fixed wing plane had engine trouble and he could not make it back to the nearby Creve Coeur Airport. Kreppert and his passenger were not injured.
Jon Sanders and his wife were heading home when they saw the plane’s lights. “Honestly I didn’t know what I was looking at at first. You don’t expect it to be a plane,” Sanders said.
But when they drove under a street light on Page, they suddenly saw the plane’s belly and realized it was unusually low.
“We immediately started slowing down,” Sanders said adding “he was probably I’d say a 100 yards in front of us when he touched down.” He went on to describe the landing, “he brought one wheel down.. a back rear wheel. He kind of bounced around just slightly and dropped it down and immediately started veering off to the shoulder.”
The plane is owned by the Boeing Employees Flying Club and it is based at Creve Coeur Airport.
This is not the first time the Page Extension (Highway 364) corridor proved to be a safety valve for small planes. Maryland Heights police recalled a plane crash along a bike path between the Page Extension and the Creve Coeur Airport in 2014.
Maryland Heights Police Public Information Officer Mark Fedak said the pilot had been practicing take-offs and landings at the airport. The FAA is investigating the incident.