Pilot Bill Bowling said he and his wife were on their way from Florida back to Tennessee in the 1960 Cessna. They were landing in Jasper to re-fuel.
He said on the final approach the engine shut off and he was too low to do anything but find somewhere to put it down. He said there was still enough gas to have flown for more than another hour so that was not the cause of the engine failure.
Bowling is credited by Chris King, who works at the Jasper airport, of doing a good job of bringing the plane in without ending up on the congested Highway 515 or hitting the busy parking lot at the Walmart – especially considering the breezy condition this evening.
Bowling said he saw the empty roadway and headed for that, realizing he needed to avoid all the crowded public areas nearby. Although shaken up, Bowling and his wife were both fine and remaining with the plane until the FAA could arrive.