The student pilot of a single-engine Cessna miscalculated on fuel, forcing him to make an emergency landing on Highway 101 during a solo training flight between Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo.
The Cessna landed in the southbound lanes of Highway 101, then taxied off the highway east of Mariposa Riena just after 4:30 p.m. Friday.
The student pilot was the only one on board the aircraft and was not hurt.
The plane was rented from Above All Aviation.
The student pilot,who asked that his name not be reported said there was a lot of traffic 101 when the plane lost power. He thanked the driver of a red convertible for pulling over and directing traffic away from the plane as he landed and steered it onto the shoulder.
The driver, Warren White, is also a pilot who said he saw that the Cessna's propeller had stopped. White said the student pilot managed to avoid two cars, a motorcycle and a power line.
A few cars going in the other direction got into an accident, but California Highway Patrol officers said no one was injured.
Above All Aviation rented the 1960 fixed wing single engine Cessna, nicknamed Norma Jean, to the 25-year-old student for a solo cross country flight needed to get his private pilot's license. The student had stopped at airports in Paso Robles and Santa Maria before running out of fuel on his return flight.
Chief pilot Bill Patterson drove to the plane, refueled it and then let his assistant fly it back to the airport. The student pilot was not on board. He was offered a ride back in a land-bound automobile and took it.
He said he has every intention to complete the hours needed to get his private pilot's license.
All lanes of Highway 101 were re-opened to traffic after the pilot took off.