Student Pilot Runs Out of Gas Flying Above Western Va., Lands on Interstate

A student pilot whose two-seat Cessna 150 ran out of gas while he was floating through the skies made an emergency landing Wednesday on an interstate highway in western Virginia.

Matthew Edward Scott, 27, of Blountsville, Tenn., was on his way back to Abingdon's Virginia Highlands Airport from Knoxville on his first solo flight when his engine sputtered and he had to quickly find a safe place to land.

He picked Interstate 81, and brought it down safely with the flow of traffic.

Like most drivers with an empty tank, he then pulled over to the side of the road and called for help, in this case reaching Virginia State Police First Sgt. Danny Glick.

The landing came within site of the airport, Glick said.

"He was afraid he wasn't going to be able to make it," Glick said.

Scott was uninjured and will not face charges, police said.

Airport staff brought fuel to the disabled plane, which sustained a dent when one of the wings clipped a mile marker sign. The interstate's southbound lanes were briefly closed, allowing the plane to taxi the rest of the way to the airport.