STACY, Minn. (WCCO) — Cambridge resident Michael Robbins has been flying planes for 30 years.
“I can go up to 7 or 8,000 feet and just see the beauty – I love it,” Robbins said.
He decided to take his bright yellow Quad Cities Challenger on a short trip to visit friends in New Richmond on Saturday morning.
“I started to head home toward Cambridge and my engine started to overheat,” Robbins said.
Robbins couldn’t believe it. After one of the coldest weeks of the year, his plane engine was overheating and he needed to land.
“I knew I didn’t have very much time before my engine stopped, so I needed to find a safe landing spot,” Robbins said.
After circling for a while, he decided to land the plane on the southbound Interstate 35 ramp in Stacy.
“I was shaking for a while just because I was so nervous, but now I’m fine,” he said.
Amazingly, Robbins wasn’t injured and the plane wasn’t damaged in the last-second landing.
The local Kwik Trip blocked off a couple parking spots to accommodate the 30-foot wingspan and the crowds of people who stopped to snap a picture.
With the engine repaired, Robbins was ready for takeoff around 4 p.m.
The Chisago County Sheriff’s Office blocked off a nearby road so Robbins could finally make it to his destination, seven hours later.
There will be no charges stemming from the incident, but the FAA was notified and will follow up.