airtraffic

Author Topic: Plane lands on a Knoxville, Tennessee, highway after running out of fuel  (Read 117 times)

Online KB4TEZ

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 500
https://www.wcvb.com/article/plane-lands-on-a-knoxville-tennessee-highway-after-running-out-of-fuel/33974139#

The plane, a Cessna 172, had two passengers aboard in addition to the pilot. It was flying toward a South Knoxville airport when the pilot realized the plane would not have enough fuel to reach their destination, according to reports.

The aircraft was able to make a safe landing eastbound along interstate I-640 East around 10 a.m.

No vehicles were struck by the plane as it landed. The plane came to ground safely and without damage.

A friend of the pilot brought fuel back to the plane, and after refueling, the aircraft took off around an hour later.

The plane involved was a Cessna 172 that contains a pilot and two passengers. It took off from Sky Ranch Airport near Alcoa Highway en route to Island Home Airport in South Knoxville. Capt. D.J. Corcoran, who was at the helm, told Knoxville Fire Department that he realized he was running out of fuel to make it to his destination. Because of that, he decided to make an emergency landing on the highway to refuel
« Last Edit: September 10, 2020, 06:50:58 AM by KB4TEZ »



Offline Rick108

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 132
Re: Plane lands on a Knoxville, Tennessee, highway after running out of fuel
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2020, 12:18:12 PM »
Here is a link to the "flight" (if you can call it that) on FlightAware:  https://flightaware.com/live/flight/N2884U/history/20200909/1329Z/TN98/KDKX
It actually included the landing and subsequent takeoff from the highway all as one flight.

It looks like this guy took off from Sky Ranch airport, his home base, and headed out to the middle of nowhere for 15 minutes before he noticed the tanks were empty.  He then made a turn back toward his destination (KDKX), but didn't have enough fuel for the 10 minute flight back, so he landed on the highway - exactly 22 minutes after he took off.  He sat on the highway for an hour while someone brought him some fuel, then took off to fly the last 5 minutes to KDKX.

Half an hour later, it looks like he made the 8-minute flight back to Sky Ranch - presumably after filling the tanks this time!  Those two airports are literally 5 miles apart.

I ... just ... can't ... wrap my head around this one.  I am just glad everyone is ok and no metal was bent.  I'm guessing this guy will have an interesting conversation with the FAA soon...

Online KB4TEZ

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 500
Re: Plane lands on a Knoxville, Tennessee, highway after running out of fuel
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2020, 12:55:57 PM »
Usually, you would catch something like that on your pre-flight.

Looked for any audio, couldn't find any.

Offline Rick108

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 132
Re: Plane lands on a Knoxville, Tennessee, highway after running out of fuel
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2020, 01:25:24 PM »
I looked for audio too, before I posted - I should have mentioned that, sorry!

Yes, there is checking the tanks during preflight - although I realize it is difficult to actually see into the tanks of a 172 - but still...  And then there is looking at the fuel gauges after you start the engine - also typically a good idea!  And maybe once or twice on the ground BEFORE you take off, just to be sure.  It is an older C172 (1963 vintage), so probably no fancy fuel totalizer, but a working fuel gauge is an FAA airworthiness requirement.  Maybe I'm just overly paranoid about running out of fuel, but my personal minimum is to never land with less than an hour of fuel remaining.  This guy took off with only 20 minutes of fuel in the tanks - not even legal.

I am assuming there were no extenuating circumstances like a fuel leak or mechanical problem or something because he took back off from the highway.  If there had been a problem, the plane should have been grounded, or at least repaired first, but it doesn't sound like that happened.