You see a lot of crazy things during CMA Music Festival, but does anyone every really expect to see an airplane make an emergency landing on the interstate? Maybe not, but that’s what happened to a plane flying a banner promoting Lady Antebellum’s appearance at Music Fest on June 10.
According to Nashville’s News Channel 5, Wayne Mansfield had been in the air for a couple of hours when there was a mechanical failure on his aircraft. The veteran pilot remained calm, finding a safe place to drop the banner, and then turned his attention to finding a safe place to land his plane. Not an easy task considering the amount of traffic and the increase in population in downtown Nashville for Music Fest.
“I had a couple of options and, apparently, I chose the good one,” he said.
Remarkably, no one was injured and there was no damage to the plane. In fact, after the mechanical failure is repaired, the plane — and Wayne — will be back in the air.
Lady Antebellum expressed their awe and gratitude in the press room before their show at Nissan Stadium later that night. “When we heard everybody [was] OK, we said a prayer of thanks” the band’s Hillary Scott said. Charles Kelly added, “I loved his response. He said at the end, ‘Yeah, that was the shortest landing I ever had. Piece of cake.’”
Dave Haywood added that Wayne was invited to be their special backstage guest that night at the stadium.
Wayne has been flying banner planes for 52 years and has received awards for his expertise. We can see why!
The 2017 CMA Music Festival takes over downtown Nashville from June 8-11. The annual four-day festival has been bringing stars and fans together for more than 45 years. Lady Antebellum is just one of the many country acts at this year’s festival. Their new album “Heart Break” drops Friday, June 9 and can be purchased at Cracker Barrel stores and online at CrackerBarrel.com.