Plane has to make 2 emergency landings on I-77

A section of Interstate 77 in Jackson County was shut down about noon Tuesday to allow an airplane to take off, but that plane was forced into a second emergency landing.

The Piper Club airplane had originally made an emergency landing Monday near the Fairplain exit of I-77.

Mechanics looked it over then and cleared it for takeoff Tuesday. It immediately had issues in the air and was forced to land in the northbound lanes about a mile from Fairplain.

The Department of Transportation said the plane will not be allowed to take off again and must now be towed to an airport.

“Most of the time, when you have a major accident, you have a second and a third accident, so we’re all very lucky,” said Chuck Runyon, emergency operations chief for the state Department of Transportation. “I’m very happy for him that he made it down safely, and I’m glad that he is able to try to get his plane back up, but as the old saying goes, ‘Enough is enough.’ ”

The DOT said mechanics will likely have to take the wings off of the plane before it can be loaded onto a tow truck and taken to an airport for repairs.

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