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Crop dusting plane forced to land on Interstate 94

STERLING, N.D. --A crop duster experiencing engine trouble made an emergency landing Friday evening on Interstate 94 near Sterling. No one was injured when the aircraft touched down in the westbound lane at 5 p.m., said Sgt. Steve Johnson with th...

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Plane: A small 1977 Thrush Ayers S2R landed safely on Interstate 94 just east of Sterling on Friday. (Submitted photo).

STERLING, N.D. --A crop duster experiencing engine trouble made an emergency landing Friday evening on Interstate 94 near Sterling.

No one was injured when the aircraft touched down in the westbound lane at 5 p.m., said Sgt. Steve Johnson with the North Dakota Highway Patrol.

He said the pilot, 27-year-old Adam Taylor of Bismarck, was en route to Mandan from Hillsboro when he landed the plane on the interstate just east of Sterling. The nearest airport was 28 miles away in Bismarck.

A witness who spoke to Taylor said the pilot thought the engine of his 1977 Thrush Ayres S2R had blown up.

Mike Berland, a tow truck driver with Zobadak Towing, was headed to Bismarck from Jamestown when he saw the plane descend over the interstate.

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He stopped his vehicle in the right lane and turned on the flashing lights atop his truck to warn traffic.

"I ran up to the plane and asked if he was OK," Berland said.

Taylor indicated he was alright and hopped into Berland's truck to warm up and charge his phone. The pilot maneuvered the plane off to the side of the road and turned it to avoid blocking traffic.

"He was cool as a cucumber," Berland said.

Berland called 911 and waited with Taylor until a sheriff's deputy arrived. He then left to fill his truck with diesel because it was low on fuel, though he made sure to snap a photo first to text to the pilot.

"You don't see a big yellow plane land in the interstate very often," he said.

Related Topics: BISMARCK
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