Plane makes emergency landing on Virginia highway

Plane makes emergency landing on Virginia highway

Associated Press

DULLES, Va. — A small passenger plane made an emergency landing on a northern Virginia highway after taking off from nearby Washington Dulles International Airport on Friday afternoon, but no injuries were reported, authorities said.

Police responded to a call just before 1 p.m. about a small aircraft making an emergency landing on Loudoun County Parkway, Virginia State Police said in a news release.

Police said the plane landed on the parkway’s westbound lanes, only a couple miles away from the airport.

No vehicles were struck, and the only damage occurred to a guardrail on the edge of the road, police said.

The airport said it received reports of a departed aircraft, Southern Airways Express flight 246, that landed off airport property on a nearby roadway, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority spokesperson James Johnson said by email. The airport remains open for takeoffs and landings, Johnson said.

A Southern Airways Express plane was scheduled to depart Dulles for Lancaster, Pennsylvania, at 12:45 p.m., according to FlightAware.

There were seven people on board the single-engine Cessna 208 Caravan, according to Federal Aviation Administration. The airline confirmed that five were passengers, in addition to two crew members. The FAA will investigate.

Virginia State Police identified the pilot as Ahmed Awais, 27, a Florida resident. Passengers included four adults and a 15-year-old boy, police said.

In a statement, the airline’s CEO, Stan Miller, said, “We are relieved to report there were no injuries, and all passengers are safe and sound. We are thankful to our pilots, who did exactly what they were trained to do — to put the safety of our passengers first. We are working closely with the authorities to thoroughly investigate the situation.”

Southern Airways Express was founded in 2013 and is based in Palm Beach, Florida. The commuter airline serves 40 U.S. cities stretching from Nantucket Island in Massachuetts to Honolulu, according to its website.