A single engine Cessna traveling from El Monte to Carlsbad Thursday evening reported engine trouble just prior to making an emergency landing on I-5 near Tamarack. No cars were involved, and the male pilot and female passenger were not injured.
Traffic came to a standstill for about 30 minutes as Caltrans and the CHP closed all southbound lanes. City of Carlsbad police and fire assisted at the scene.
Multiple 9-1-1 calls came in around 7:11 p.m. reporting the plane in trouble. The pilot radioed ahead to the control tower at McLellan-Palomar Airport prior to landing on the freeway with a cockpit full of smoke.
The FAA and NTSB will complete an investigation into the incident. Caltrans and the CHP anticipated the plane could be removed and all lanes reopened late Thursday night. About 53 gallons of fuel were being removed from the plane before moving it off the freeway.
Drivers are being asked to take an alternate route to avoid the area around I-5 and Tamarack.