18-year-old pilot shares new details after emergency landing in Cajon Pass: 'I heard the boom'

"The whole thing was probably about three to four minutes, so I'm doing everything in those couple of minutes," he said.

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Sunday, January 8, 2023
Teen pilot shares harrowing story of emergency landing in Cajon Pass
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An 18-year-old pilot flying a single-engine plane managed to land safely in the Cajon Pass Monday after the plane's engine blew out, and his quick-thinking saved the lives of his family members on board.

ONTARIO, Calif. (KABC) -- An 18-year-old pilot flying a single-engine plane managed to land safely in the Cajon Pass Monday after the plane's engine blew out, and his quick-thinking saved the lives of his family members on board.

Brock Peters spoke with ABC's "Good Morning America" about the harrowing ordeal, which he said was about three to four minutes of panic.

"I heard the boom and immediately after that, my engine power went down," said Peters. "I look at my RPM gauge and it just goes all the way down."

The single-engine Piper PA-28 was seen on the shoulder of Cajon Boulevard, near Ontario. Peters landed just before 10 a.m., according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

"The whole thing was probably about three to four minutes, so I'm doing everything in those couple of minutes," said Peters. "[I was] looking for places to land and trying to restart the engine and immediately I knew there was no way to get to any airport."

Peters told GMA that he took a practical test in the Cajon Pass, so he was familiar with the area.

"We'd set up for the emergency landing and there was a field I had picked to land on during the exam," said Peters. "I was way too far away from that point. I know that if I land there, we're going to get seriously injured and the plane is going to get destroyed."

Peters ended up landing on the historic Route 66, which he quickly spotted from the air.

"I'm just scoping out everything from left to right so I set up for that road to land," he said.

No one on the plane was injured.

Peters' mother, Anne Peters, who was not on the plane, said her son's grandmother and other family members were among the passengers saved.

She said she didn't know what to expect when she heard the news of the landing.

"I was just numb," she said. "I felt completely cold and numb and shaking. I couldn't put my thoughts, my sense together."

The mother said she felt an immediate sense of relief knowing her son and her family members were safe.

"I told my daughter to call her dad, to call my husband, and tell him to come home, and she briefly told him what had happened. We were about 10 minutes from where [Brock] was. We were able to get down there fairly quickly. We didn't know what we're going to see. We didn't know if the plane was in tact, we didn't know anything, just that he was down."

No injuries were reported and Peters' family is grateful for his swift thinking.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the incident.