COOPER CITY (CBS4) – The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating an emergency landing of a single engine plane in Cooper City Saturday afternoon.
The plane went down in the eastbound lanes of Sheridan St. just east of Douglas Rd. near the Cooper City-Pembroke Pines border.
The pilot and the passenger were not hurt. No one on the ground was injured.
“It could have been catastrophic,” said Pembroke Pines Fire Department spokesman Tom Gallagher. He says the pilot used his skill to land the plane with as little damage as possible.
Drivers along Sheridan Street were in shock. Many slowed down to see what happened, tying up traffic in the westbound lanes in the process.
“I was driving (…) down the road and I saw the fire truck,” Richard Layson explained. “I work at the airport, Fort Lauderdale International Airport, and I saw the firetruck from the airport and that never leaves the airport. And when I saw it, I knew something had to have happened with an aircraft.”
Authorities say a 1965 Mooney 4 seat single engine aircraft was heading to North Perry Airport in Pembroke Pines from Georgia.
It had almost reached it’s destination when something went wrong.
“Right now what we know is, while coming in from Georgia, it lost or had some sort of power issue, with the plane and came down,” Gallagher said.
The plane came to rest facing oncoming traffic in the eastbound lanes of Sheridan Street after clipping a tree while attempting to land in the median.
“It didn’t look like the landing gear went down,” Layson said. “I don’t know what happened, but I saw the prop all mangled up and that was a bit of a mess.”
Crews secured the plane, flipping it around to load it on to a tow truck. The propeller was damaged and the landing gear was twisted inside the body of the plane.
Emergency responders say it could have been much worse.
“It’s a good day when an aircraft can land on a roadway anywhere, especially on Sheridan Street with the traffic there is and the weather we’re having,” Gallagher said.