Saturday, February 13, 2016

Incident occurred February 12, 2016 in Sterling, Burleigh County, North Dakota

A crop duster experiencing engine trouble made an emergency landing Friday evening on Interstate 94 near Sterling.

No one was injured when the aircraft touched down in the westbound lane at 5 p.m., said Sgt. Steve Johnson with the North Dakota Highway Patrol.

He said the pilot, 27-year-old Adam Taylor of Bismarck, was en route to Mandan from Hillsboro when he landed the plane on the interstate just east of Sterling. The nearest airport was 28 miles away in Bismarck.

A witness who spoke to Taylor said the pilot thought the engine of his 1977 Thrush Ayres S2R had blown up.

Mike Berland, a tow truck driver with Zobadak Towing, was headed to Bismarck from Jamestown when he saw the plane descend over the interstate.

He stopped his vehicle in the right lane and turned on the flashing lights atop his truck to warn traffic.

"I ran up to the plane and asked if he was OK," Berland said.

Taylor indicated he was alright and hopped into Berland's truck to warm up and charge his phone. The pilot had maneuvered the plane off to the side of the road and turned it to avoid blocking traffic.

"He was cool as a cucumber," Berland said.

"You don't see a big yellow plane land in the interstate very often," he said.


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