Police: Pilot who made emergency landing on I-70 was intoxicated, carrying gun and drugs in plane

An intoxicated pilot who ran out of fuel had to make an emergency landing on Interstate 70 east...
An intoxicated pilot who ran out of fuel had to make an emergency landing on Interstate 70 east of Grain Valley early Friday morning.(KCTV5)
Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 4:32 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 15, 2022 at 10:11 AM CDT
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GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. (KCTV) - An intoxicated pilot who ran out of fuel had to make an emergency landing on Interstate 70 east of Grain Valley early Friday morning, hitting no vehicles and causing no serious injuries in the process, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

The highway patrol and local authorities were called at 2:34 a.m. to the westbound lanes of I-70, where a small aircraft had made an emergency landing on the interstate. The pilot---the only person on-board---suffered minor injuries, according to the highway patrol.

Westbound lanes of I-70 remained closed for multiple hours after the incident. The plane was removed and westbound lanes reopened shortly after 5 a.m.

Online flight records indicate the plane is a single-engine Piper Cherokee craft owned by Warrior Aviation LC in Prairie Village, KS. It had made several flights over the 24-hour period before the emergency landing, going from Kansas City to Florida, and then back up.

The plane last took off near Warrensburg at 2:15 a.m. The records indicate the flight lasted 19 minutes, with the plane making a landing on the interstate at 2:34 a.m.

The pilot radioed in to say he ran out of fuel and had to make an emergency landing on the interstate. The plane had a minor collision with a guardrail during the landing but otherwise didn’t hit anything.

The highway patrol said the pilot was found to be intoxicated. He was treated at a local hospital for minor injuries and arrested.

Flight records indicate the craft took off from Wheeler Downtown Airport in Kansas City Thursday at 3 a.m. and flew to Daytona Beach, FL, with brief stops in Mississippi and Alabama along the way. It then turned around and headed back to Kansas City, stopping in Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas and Warrensburg, MO.

Highway patrol arrest records later identified the pilot as a 35-year-old from Prairie Village. He was facing charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, felony possession of a controlled substance, felony unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of marijuana and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.

KCTV5 will update this story as more information becomes available. Stay with us on-air, on social media and online at KCTV5.com