OROVILLE --A cool-thinking 67-year-old pilot from Susanville successfully guided his crippled plane to an emergency landing on Highway 70 at about 8:30 a.m. today.
According to Enterprise-Record photographer Ty Barbour, John Schneider was alone in his Cherokee 180 single-engine plane on his way from Susanville to Oroville to visit an aunt.
Somewhere over Quincy he suffered engine trouble. Schneider told Barbour the Quincy airport was heavily fogged-in and there was no chance of landing there.
He said he immediately began trying to gain altitude and about the time he reached 10,000 feet the engine entirely died.
From then on he was flying a glider continuing in the direction of Oroville.
At one point he reportedly considering trying to land on the Highway 70 bridge over Lake Oroville, but he decided he had enough altitude to continue a little further.
He got to a point where he could see well down Highway 70. He told Barbour when he could see the highway was clear he brought the plane down on the highway in the vicinity of Cherokee Road.
He came through the emergency unscathed.
The plane has been moved from where it landed to a turnout about 200 yards away so the highway is clear.
Schneider said if there had been traffic on 70 he had an alternative plan to land in an adjacent field.
Authorities are currently making plans to remove the plane from the roadside.