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I'd estimate you'd only have about a 50% chance of a successful landing on a highly-trafficked freeway - despite the attractiveness of such a nice runway-mimicking surface.

The simple problem is, freeways are full of wires, light poles, big signs, overpasses and underpasses - as well as traffic - and none of the aforementioned are favourable to emergency landing outcomes.

 

One of my former business partners landed his PA-28 on a major highway (the Gt Eastern Hwy between Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie) around 1986, after a fuel selector valve failure.

Despite the highway having had a decent upgrade not long before he landed on it, with more than adequate width (and also being fortunate enough to avoid the relatively light road traffic) - and despite carrying out a successful deadstick landing - he was unfortunate enough to come across a substantial roadside sign which he was unable to avoid, and which severely damaged a wing, resulting in major repairs.

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And your chances of getting out in one piece increase if the selected landing area is not congested with signage, lighting, poles, wires and vehicles.

I'd take a flattish farm paddock with fences, over an inviting-looking highway surface full of signage, lighting, poles, wiring and traffic. One single powerline wire on the way down will ruin the best-planned landing.

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43 minutes ago, onetrack said:

And your chances of getting out in one piece increase if the selected landing area is not congested with signage, lighting, poles, wires and vehicles.

I'd take a flattish farm paddock with fences, over an inviting-looking highway surface full of signage, lighting, poles, wiring and traffic. One single powerline wire on the way down will ruin the best-planned landing.

I agree in principal, but it depends on where are.

 

Our district is currently like a rice padi, so you’d be likely to dig in and end-over in any of padocks, even the better-drained hill slopes. After the drought caused so much destocking, many paddocks have grass over your head, so you’d never see logs and rocks.

 

Rural roads may be a better bet due to less traffic and roadside furniture.

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Watch for overhanging trees ,wires to houses and farm sheds and rocks soaks and grass tufts etc in paddocks. I've used a place where animals were fed with straw in a rocky paddock and got away with it. I had to land in an arc, which isn't difficult. I considered a nearby road but it wasn't as safe due to trees and poles. .  As an instructor you get exposed to many simulated forced landing episodes and often only see some high risk aspect when already committed. Land with some power available if you have a choice. There's considerable risk anytime you do an off field landing. Your touch down GROUNDspeed has a lot to do with it. Nev

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The Alice Springs gliding club regularly uses the Stuart highway and the Tanami highway for outlanding gliders. Anywhere else and your wings will be ripped off.

On a big day, they can set a task which goes up one highway and then crosses to the other during the strongest part of the day, when you are flying over unlandable scrub but with 10,000 ft agl climbs and in a 35 to 1 glider.

At Gawler, we have the freeway as an option for some engine out events, but this has never been required. I reckon the cars would not run into you just as they mainly miss each other. I have never seen a plane actually landing on a road though, so thanks for the video. Yes, there sure are a lot of signs etc to avoid.

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Whenever I drive I look at the road as if I was going to use it for a forced landing, and there are not many suitable roads. If you are going to use a road watch for power poles and dropdown between them to miss the crossing wires.

I did once have a partial engine failure with a Thruster and put it down in a paddock adjacent to the Bruce Hwy. The property owner told me the paddock was full of melon holes, but I didn't see them and luckily missed them. I fixed the broken fuel pipe and took of an hour later, but by then I had checked the ground run. Not easy to put a Thruster on the hwy. because it is going slower than the trucks.

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I just love the way the car drivers went around the aircraft - no hazard warnings lights - no help - just went on by as if this sort of emergency is an every day occurrence requiring no response (dont get involved) - quite the documentary on human behavior.

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That's the point skippy. They actually are guided by sentient beings who are looking out. Yes I know this is counter-intuitive.

I too was impressed by how they acted, I thought they sure must have been in a hurry or else they didn't want to be involved and spend all day being grilled.

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These days everyone is in a hurry but mostly going nowhere. IF someone  dares to get in your way run over them horn blowing giving them the One finger salute even if it's an old lady on a zebra crossing. Nev

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