FL - Pilot lands smoke-filled plane on U.S. 27 in Pines

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Pilot lands smoke-filled plane on U.S. 27 in Pines

By TANYA WEINBERG Sun-Sentinel Web-posted: 12:03 a.m. Nov. 7, 2000

A student pilot and his instructor watched the cockpit fill with smoke, then made an emergency landing on U.S. 27 in Pembroke Pines on Monday afternoon, avoiding both traffic and injury. Student Marvin Butler, 32, of Pembroke Pines, was at the controls of the two-passenger Diamond Katana when they smelled the burning electrical wires near the engine. Instructor Damion Lawrence, 20, took over. "At about 200 feet the cockpit got filled with smoke and we couldn't see a thing, but we knew the road was in front of us," Lawrence said. Lawrence touched down on the southbound lanes of the highway shortly before 1 p.m. and the two jumped out. "There was a car coming so I pushed (the plane) off the road," Lawrence explained to the owners of Pelican Airways flight school when they arrived at the scene. The bubble-cockpit plane had wheeled down the grass shoulder, its burned-out nose pressed up against the trees. "They did a good job. It's one of your worst nightmares," said Jim Reynolds, spokesman for the Broward County Aviation Department, which oversees North Perry Airport, where Pelican is based. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating. After the scare, a calm Butler said, "It makes me more confident. More eager to fly.


-- Doris (reaper@pacifier.com), November 07, 2000


This is a suburb of Ft Lauderdale. US27 is not a very heavily travled road on some days and on others it is a mess, but it is on the edge of the Everglades, this was the only place to land.

-- (perry@ofuzzy1.com), November 07, 2000.

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