Small plane lands on 316 in Gwinnett County

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — A small plane landed on Highway 316 in Gwinnett County on Monday.

The Gwinnett County Police Department tweeted a photo of the aircraft near Harbins Road.

Authorities said the plane landed safely. It was pulled into the median, waiting for FAA response.

Drivers in the area could see delays.

The FAA said the plane was a Sonex experimental, amateur-built aircraft and it made the emergency landing around 12:45 p.m.

The aircraft was about three miles from the Gwinnett County Airport when it made the landing and only the pilot was onboard.

Channel 2's Tyisha Fernandes said the pilot was OK as he walked her through his decision to make an emergency landing along the highway.

Pilot Fred Meyer said that when the engine failed, the plane kept gliding so he just steered it to land right on the median in Dacula.

Meyer told Fernandes that he gives God all the credit.

“The engine just quit, it just stopped,” said Meyer, who likes to take the plane out for a nice flight over Gwinnett County often.


Meyer doesn’t own the plane, but said he built the engine and takes care of the maintenance.

When he took off from Brisco Field in Lawrenceville on Monday, Meyer said he was doing aerobatics and that everything was fine, but then he heard the engine go out.

“I pulled up in a vertical and the engine just stopped. It just stopped just like that,” Meyer said, adding that he was thinking "oops" when it happened.

“You just fall back on your training at that point in time,” Meyer said. “You really think about the circumstance. You think about your training and what to do.”

Fernandes found a swastika insignia on the wing of the plane and asked Meyer about it.

"A lot of people like to paint these small airplanes up top (to) look like the war birds," he said. "They’re more for fun (than) anything else… with the fake bullet holes and everything.”

Meyer said it wasn’t the first time a plane engine has failed on him, claiming he did the same thing in Gwinnett County 15 years ago.

The FAA is investigating what made the engine fail.