Amazingly, the small plane landed safely, avoiding hitting any vehicles -- at first -- and injuring no one, authorities said. The aircraft had only minor damage, authorities said, but the cause of the emergency landing is still under investigation.
However, a pickup truck nicked the left wing of the plane but did not stop, Sgt. Dennis Smith of the Florida Highway Patrol said.
On board the plane were an instructor and a student pilot. Likely shaken up, both declined to speak to the media, but were at the scene inspecting the plane. The plane's markings indicated it was out of Aerosim Flight Academy, a training school in Sanford, just north of Orlando.
Smith said the Orlando to Craig airport flight developed engine trouble and set down on the eastbound lane of Interstate 295. The area is near a busy interlocking series of ramps and connections between I-95 and I-295 and 9A . Smith said he didn't know how the pilot pulled off the maneuver but that the FAA had been contacted to join the investigation of the incident.
Smith said, however, the plane avoided several cars, except for the truck that clipped the wing.
"They were extremely lucky that no other vehicles were involved and they landed safely and that no one else collided with the aircraft," Smith said. He said authorities would like to speak to the truck that clipped the plane on the left wing, where a broken light was evident.
After the landing, officers from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and state troopers pushed the aircraft, which has a wingspan of about 40 feet, onto the shoulder of I-295 near a ramp, clearing the way for traffic to keep moving.
According to FlightAware.com, the plane left Orlando Sanford International Airport enroute to Jacksonville Executive at Craig Airport.
Smith said authorities planned to mount the disabled plane on a flatbed truck later in the night and give it a slow escort on 9A to Craig.