FAIRPLAIN, W.Va. — A pilot of a small plane that had to emergency land the craft on Interstate 77 Monday evening shouldn’t have been authorized to use the interstate to take off Tuesday, a state Department of Transportation spokesman said.
Authorities stopped traffic and the pilot was allowed to take off near the Fairplain exit in Jackson County but he had to emergency land a second time because the engine stopped working.
State DOT spokesman Brent Walker said that take off shouldn’t have been allowed.
“We did not authorize it neither would we,” Walker said during an appearance Wednesday on MetroNews “Talkline.” “It’s a little bizarre in that way and we’re working with folks to investigate that.”
Walker said emergency landings are one thing but take offs the next day are something else.
“Airports are made for landing and taking off, roads are not,” Walker said. “There’s just a whole lot of bad that could have gone wrong in this situation.”
Walker said it appears the take off decision was made by local emergency authorities.
State Senate President Mitch Carmichael, who represents Jackson County, said he backs the local authorities.
“I trust the EMS folks and the people that are making these decisions. I think they are doing a good job,” Carmichael said, predicting “cooler heads will prevail” in connection with the controversy.
The plane remained park just off the Fairplain exit Wednesday afternoon.