Sun, Jan 28, 2007
It's A Plane, And It's Landing Here On The Highway!
A 1976 twin-engine Piper Aztec on a test flight from Fort Pierce
to St. Petersburg, FL, made an emergency landing on I-75 Friday
after both engines lost power, according to television station
Tampa Bay 10.
The Aztec (file photo of type, above) touched down in the
northbound lanes of the highway, avoiding cars and power lines,
before coming to a rest in the center median. Both the pilot and
co-pilot were uninjured, reported Florida Highway Patrol spokesman
Said pilot, Marc Levine, to Tampa Bay 10, "The plane just came
out of maintenance and had two new engines put in. One of them quit
unexpectedly and before we could even take care of that the other
one quit, so we had no choice on what to do but put it down on the
Levine declared an emergency and was communicating with ATC
before he touched down just before 3:45 pm. The nearest airport was
seven miles away.
Added copilot Rick Rescigno, "As it worked out people were
paying attention and they got out of the way [on the highway]."
The Florida Highway Patrol shut down the highway briefly
Saturday morning to allow the plane to be towed off onto
I-674. That road was also shut down as the aircraft was towed
through Sun City Center and onto the airport, six miles away in
The incident is under investigation.
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