Witness describes seeing highway turn into runway for emergency landing

Published: Nov. 9, 2015 at 11:32 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 10, 2015 at 10:54 AM CST
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JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A plane is in the parking lot of a Jackson County church after an emergency landing on Highway 63. Witnesses said there were tense moments as the roadway turned into a runway. 

Seventeen year old Tessa Perrette said on drive back from grandma's house Sunday evening, she and her parents saw something so strange they had to pull over to take a picture.

"We had seen the plane just land on the road," said Perrette. "We were kind of worried because we didn't know what was going to happen or anything like that. We didn't know if it was going to blow up. That's what my thoughts were."

Also watching the plane were two Jackson County Sheriff's Deputies who officials said just happened to responding to a call in the area and noticed it flying low. When they realized the plane was going to land, they called dispatch.

Once safely on the ground, authorities said deputies helped the pilot taxi a few miles down the road to the Wade Baptist Church parking lot where we found the plane still sitting on Monday. Officials said there was discussion about traveling on to Trent Lott International Airport but airport officials say the plane could not fit through the gates.. And the trip was too dangerous to the public.

Perrette said she had worried drivers or the pilot might possibly be injured.. And is thankful that didn't turn out to be the case.

"It was pretty smooth. It wasn't bumpy or anything. He did good," said Perrette.

Authorities say the pilot had no choice but to land because of engine trouble. Jackson County Sheriff's Department officials say the Federal Aviation Administration will investigate the incident.

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