A teenager flying a plane made an emergency landing on Monday when the single-engine aircraft unexpectedly lost power.
Brock Peters, an eighteen-year-old, was in the cockpit flying a Piper PA-28, with members of his family inside. The aircraft was making the trek from Apple Valley Airport to Riverside Airport when the teen reportedly heard a “pop” sound and made the decision to put the plane down somewhere safe.
“We’re coming through the pass and I hear a boom and then I lose all my engine power,” Peters told CBS in an interview.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said he eventually landed the plane on Cajon Boulevard in the San Bernardino National Forest.
Peters got his pilot’s license only four months ago and remembered what he had been taught in order to land with no injuries.
“At that point I didn’t have any space or time to get to any other airports and this was my only option, my only shot to get it down,” Peters told Inland News.
“Just got to stay calm, remember my training and just put the plane down and make sure everyone is safe,” he said.
He was taking his grandmother and two cousins to breakfast.
“I can hear my grandma crying in the back,” he said. “I’m like ‘I’ve got to tune her out, focus on what I need to do and get this plane down safely and make sure everybody is OK.’”
Peters couldn’t tell a local airport tower about his decision over where he was going to land the plane due to the geography. Instead, he called his mother and told her what he was going to do.
“From the air, the field right in front of me looks flat,” he explained. “But once you get lower, it’s trees, rocks, everything — just going to tear the plane up.” The next available place was a tiny frontage road.
“I knew I was going to land it,” Peters said. “I knew I was going to. But to not hit anything[,] that’s God’s intervention right there.”
On Tuesday, Peters did an interview with CBS where he said he was “just glad it ended the way it did, and God helped me through that one.”
“I was a little stressed out ‘cause … you train for this a lot but until that actually happens, it’s just a whole [other] story but I was pretty calm during the situation. I knew that I had to put the plane down. I just remembered my training,” he said.
The National Transportation Safety Board and FAA will further investigate the incident.