Pilot makes emergency landing on Illinois highway's median

MARION, Ill. (AP) — The pilot of a more than 60-year-old plane successfully landed the vintage aircraft onto a southern Illinois highway's median after it lost engine power, state police said.

The pilot was not injured when he landed the single-engine plane Wednesday night onto Interstate 57's median in Williamson County, about six miles (9.7 kilometers) south of Marion.

Illinois State Police said Thursday the pilot was the only occupant of the aircraft, which sustained minor damage in the landing about 15 miles (24 kilometers) southeast of Carbondale. Northbound lanes of I-57 were closed while the plane was removed from the highway.

Pilot Kent Cook said he was flying the 1958 Cessna 175 Skylark from Union City, Tennessee, to Lincoln, Illinois, when he made the emergency landing.

“It was the best possible outcome,” he told the Peoria Journal Star.

Cook said he was about one-half hour into the flight when he realized there was a problem with the vintage four-seat plane, which he was transporting as part of his Lacon-based business, Kilo Aviation.