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Thu, Aug 02, 2007

No One Injured As Aerostar Lands On Road Near FXE

Witnesses Praise Pilot For Avoiding Cars

It appears some expert flying kept an emergency landing near Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE) Wednesday night from turning into a crisis.

Witnesses say the twin-engine Piper PA-60 Aerostar (type shown at right) appeared to drop from the sky just before it touched down on Cypress Creek Road before 8 pm local time, narrowly missing traffic. The aircraft departed the roadway and impacted a tree, and caught fire.

All three people onboard the plane -- identified as pilot Austin Brennen, his brother Neville, and Edward Clough -- walked away with minor injuries. All three declined medical attention, and no injuries were reported on the ground.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports the aircraft encountered problems shortly after takeoff from FXE, when one of its engines lost power. The aircraft began to lose speed and altitude immediately, as the pilot attempted to steer back to the airport.

"He did an awesome job keeping altitude," Fort Lauderdale Fire-Rescue Assistant Chief Stephen McInerny said, referring to the pilot. "He had awesome control of that plane."

The aircraft went down a half-mile off the approach end of Runway 6, according to FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen.

Witness Pat Schaffer, who has a private pilot's license, spoke highly of the pilot's skill in handling the emergency.

"It looked like the pilot was in control the entire time," Schaffer said.

(ANN thanks reader Sandra Shofner for her photos of the accident site)

  Regis#: 60801        Make/Model: AEST      Description: PA-60 AEROSTAR
  Date: 08/01/2007     Time: 2358

  Event Type: Accident   Highest Injury: None     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: Destroyed

  City: FORT LAUDERDALE   State: FL   Country: US


INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   0
                 # Crew:   1     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:   1
                 # Pass:   2     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:   
                 # Grnd:         Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:   

WEATHER: METAR KFXE 012352Z 23004KT 10SM  SCT025 OVC150 27/23 A2990

  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Unknown      Operation: OTHER

  FAA FSDO: SOUTH FLORIDA, FL  (SO19)             Entry date: 08/02/2007



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