Feb 3rd 2010 By Jeremy Taylor
Traffic pilot Frank Vogt
's single-engine Cessna started running rough, and he noticed that the plane's oil pressure was dropping rapidly. He thought for a moment about returning to the airport, but quickly realized he would never make it.
The 28-year-old turned to his passenger, Metro Networks
traffic reporter Mike Lankford, and said, "This is really happening."
They were 1,200 feet above New Jersey and it was 6:30 a.m. -- still dark enough that most of the ground looked like what Vogt describes as "black holes." With his engine failing, Vogt glided toward the one place he knew would be properly lit: the New Jersey Turnpike
Read on to find out what happened and to watch a video interview with Vogt.
"I knew it was wide enough, I knew it was straight enough. There wasn't any wires, and I didn't see many overpasses," Vogt tells Asylum.
He reasoned that since the traffic was still light, there would be enough space between the cars that they could slow down and let him in.
His hastily concocted plan worked perfectly. He even managed to pull his Cessna to the side of the road, although the inevitable rubbernecking -- completely justified in this case -- still blocked traffic a mile-and-a-half in both directions.
With his plane out of commission, Vogt will be temporarily unable to help provide traffic reports for Metro Networks. But he looks forward to getting back in the air at least by the summer, when he'll be piloting skydivers.
Maybe he can give them advice on what to do when unexpectedly forced to land in a tight spot.