© 2022 | Jefferson Public Radio
Southern Oregon University
1250 Siskiyou Blvd.
Ashland, OR 97520
541.552.6301 | 800.782.6191
KSOR Header background image 1
a service of Southern Oregon University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Pilot Lands Plane on Moving Truck’s Flatbed

One morning in August 2000, retired Air Force Officer Howard Hamer started out from Nevada City, Calif., for a quick flight to Mount Hood, Ore.  Hamer had built his own Lancair 235 aircraft from a kit 10 years earlier.

As he flew over the Oregon border, the plane’s engine began running roughly, so Hamer landed at the Chiloquin airport.  After checking out the engine, he took off again, and was gaining altitude when the plane suddenly lost power. 

Below him was mostly timberland, but when Hwy 97 came into view, Hamer decided to try landing on the highway.  Two vehicles were heading south toward him and a northbound truck was just ahead of him.  Hamer was timing the landing to miss all the vehicles, but from his angle of flight he didn’t see another northbound truck approaching from behind him.

Hamer eased toward the highway and touched down, but the plane continued traveling at full speed.  What had happened was the plane had landed on the unseen truck’s flatbed with just a few inches to spare on either side.

Hamer credits luck and divine intervention for guiding him to safety.


Sources:  Lerten, Barney. "Troubled Pilot Tries Highway 97 Landing-Lands on Truck Instead." Newspaper. Bend Bugle, 11 Aug. 2000. Web. 4 Oct. 2015. http://www.bendbugle.com/2000/08/troubled-pilot-tries-highway-97-la.;  Gregory, Gordon. "Pilot of Lancair 235 plane grateful to have landed just right on back of Truck-Trailer." CharacterQualityStories.com. The Oregonian, 11 Aug. 2000. Web. 29 Sept. 2015. .

Luana (Loffer) Corbin graduated from Southern Oregon College, majoring in Elementary Education.  The summer after graduation she was hired to teach at Ruch Elementary, where she taught for 32 years. After retiring, Corbin worked for Lifetouch School Photography and then returned to Ruch as an aide helping with reading instruction and at the library.  More recently, she has volunteered at South Medford High.