A pilot who had planned a 10-mile flight in Maryland today ended up instead in central Virginia, where he ran out of gas before landing his single-engine plane on Rte. I-95 here, police said.
Timothy J. O'Donnell, 31, of Alexandria, was not injured and his Cessna 150 received virtually no damage when he landed it on the southbound lanes of I-95 about 4:20 p.m., said Virginia State Trooper E.L. Quaintance. O'Donnell had planned a flight from Cambridge to Easton, both on Maryland's Eastern Shore, when he became disoriented, said Quaintance. "He finally got oriented when he was in Charlottesville and was following the interstate; I think he was going to land at Byrd Airport here."
Charlottesville is about 70 miles west of here on I-64, and about 140 miles from Cambridge.
Police said there were no traffic accidents until curious motorists slowed down to look at the plane. Officer Andre Buswell said there was a pileup involving at least three cars, but no injuries.
"The only damage to the plane was the wing tip had a dent--probably $15 to $20 worth. He struck a signpost," Quaintance said.
The plane's owners, Beacon Flying Service of Clinton, Md., were sending a trailer to retrieve the Cessna, Quaintance said.