|Rescue personnel prepare to move the injured pilot of a twin-engine plane that crashed on I 95 near Commercial Blvd. Friday afternoon. The man was identified as Robert Robertson, 34, and at last report was in critical condition.|
|Highway Landing Image Captures Headlines
Hardly a day goes by that we donít hear about some kind of off-airport landing, but the images accompanying one pilotís bad day in Florida have captured the imagination of even non-pilots. Pilot Robert W. Robertson, 34, was just about the only thing left intact after the Beech Super 18 he was flying lost power Friday, and came down hard on a freeway in Fort Lauderdale. After the crash, Robertson remained strapped in his seat with the shredded aircraft around him until rescuers could cut him free.
He was taken to hospital with multiple injuries and his condition is improving. Robertson took off from Ft. Lauderdale Executive Airport headed for Nassau with a load of store merchandise when he ran into trouble. Unidentified colleagues at Monarch Air, where Robertson worked, speculated that Robertson was trying to avoid hitting buildings and other public buildings with a steep turn executed just before the landing on the freeway.
Pilot in amazing escape from plane crash
September 23, 2007 09:52am
A PILOT made an incredible escape after crashing his small plane on a busy highway in Florida yesterday.
Robert Robertson was left conscious and sitting in his seat after the cockpit disintegrated around him on.
The bloodied 34-year-old, who was alone on the flight and remarkably suffered only minor injuries, remained in his seat waiting for nearby emergency crews to take him to hospital.
He crashed shortly after taking off from Fort Lauderdale with a cargo of clothes and shoes destined for the Bahamas on Friday afternoon.
Witnesses said the plane lost power, did cartwheels in the sky, clipped its wing on a warehouse and came to a halt in roadside grass.
"It was his lucky day," said witness Stewart McLeod.
"The entire front of the plane was gone, and he was left sitting in his seat with his seat belt on."
No one was hurt on the ground despite Robertson's twin-engine Beechcraft ploughing onto the Interstate 95, causing major traffic jams.
Colleagues said he was "an extremely experienced pilot" who saved lives by avoiding traffic and landing skillfully.
Robertson broke his left leg, left arm and nose and had a gash on his forehead, a friend said.
"The aircraft appeared to not be gaining altitude, the pilot declared a mayday and then went down," said Kathleen Bergen of the Federal Aviation Administration.
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