Teenage pilot had to 'tune out' grandma crying in the back of plane to make emergency landing
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A teenage pilot had to 'tune out' the sound of his grandma crying in the back of plane as he made an emergency landing.
Brock Peters, who is just 18 years old, had been flying a small, single-engine plane over southern California on Monday (January 2) with a number of his family members on board.
Despite his young age, the community college student from Oak Hills has been flying since he was 16 and hopes to become an airline pilot some day.
Four months after receiving his licence, he decided to take his cousins and grandma on a short trip from Apple Valley Airport to Riverside Airport in a rented Piper PA-28, as it's a journey he's made numerous times before.
Speaking to The Guardian, he said: "We’ll go down for breakfast, have a quick meal and a nice flight and keep going with our day."
But things didn't quite go to plan, as Brock explained that while suspended 5,500ft in the air, he heard a concerning sound from the engine.
"We're coming through the pass and I hear a 'boom' and then I lose all my engine power," Peters told CBS News LA.
"I can hear my grandma crying in the back. I'm like, 'I've got to tune her out, focus on what I need to do and get this plane down safely and make sure everybody is OK'."
Unfortunately, he was unable to let any nearby airport towers know what had happened due to where he was.
With his engine power out, the teen had no choice but to land on a small road in the Cajon Pass below.
"I was coming down and there were power lines that went across the road," he said.
"When I was coming down, I didn't see those until after I got out and checked everything out, that's when I saw the overhead power lines."
Thankfully he was able to land safely despite the tricky terrain, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) which reported the emergency landing confirmed there were no injuries suffered by Brock, his cousins or his 77-year-old grandma.
Although no doubt she was shaken by the incident.
The young pilot added: "I knew I was going to land it. I knew I was going to. But to not hit anything, that's God's intervention right there."
As soon as the aircraft had reached the ground, emergency services were called to the scene and the fire department helped to move the vehicle further away from the road.
Authorities are now investigating the incident in order to find out what caused the engine to fail.
In his interview with The Guardian, Brock explained that he's received plenty of support from the aviation community and it hasn't put him off his dream of being an airline pilot.
He said: "There’s been so many messages: 'Good job', 'Amazing landing', 'You did great'. It was a good learning experience for me."