Young Beginning Pilot Makes an Emergency Landing on Route 66 at Cajon Pass!

An 18-year-old pilot was flying with his grandmother and cousins aboard when something went wrong over the Cajon Pass northeast of Los Angeles.

The first flight of the new year was one to remember for a teen pilot and his family.

Brock Peters, 18, was flying his grandmother and two cousins from Apple Valley to Riverside Municipal Airport Monday morning when his small plane lost power over the Cajon Pass. He said heard a ‘boom’ sounds coming from the engine before the power loss. 

The rugged mountain pass between the San Bernardino and San Gabriel mountains, about 60 miles northeast of Los Angeles, offered few options to set the plane down.

“I tried everything to restart the engine, nothing happened,” Peters said. “Couldn’t get to any other airports. Couldn’t get to a field that was over there.”

Peters ended up landing on Historic Route 66 in the Mojave Desert. The single-engine Piper PA-28 came to a stop a dirt shoulder off Cajon Boulevard, part of the storied road, near Matthews Ranch Road.

“I just remembered all my training from my instructors,” Peters said. “I know everybody was a little shocked. My grandma was crying, but I’m like, I’ve got to tune her out, land the plane and deal with this.”

Peters said a car coming toward him on the road pulled over as the plane touched down.