Saturday, November 29, 2014

Cessna 182N Skylane, N92739: Incident occurred November 29, 2014 in Cape Coral, Florida

Event Type:   Incident

Highest Injury:   None
Damage:  None


Flight Phase:   LANDING (LDG)

Federal Aviation Administration  Flight Standards District Office:  FAA Miami FSDO-19

JAMES G. WHITTY: WBBH News for Fort Myers, Cape Coral 

CAPE CORAL, FL -A small airplane had to make an emergency landing on a popular Cape Coral road Saturday morning.

Two North Fort Myers men were thousands of feet in the air when the engine on their Cessna suddenly lost power.  The pilot had to land the plane on Burnt Store Road near Van Buren Parkway.  That's where he and his passenger walked away without a scratch.

"50 years and the first time I've ever had to make an off airport landing," said pilot Jim Whitty.  "Stay cool and make a good landing."

Whitty and his brother-in-law Lee Leahy took off from Pine Shadows Airpark in North Fort Myers just after 8 a.m.  They were on their way to Venice in Sarasota County for breakfast.  But minutes after take-off, something went wrong in the single-engine Cessna.

"She backfired really badly so we couldn't maintain airspeed.  We had to land," said Whitty.

The pilot said he turned on his landing and anti-collision lights. A couple of cars got out of the way quickly, and then the plane's wheels were on the road.

"The plane came down fine, and we came down with it," said passenger Lee Leahy.

Neighbors in Northwest Cape Coral quickly went on Facebook describing the scary moments. One of our viewers commented "Watched and heard it sputtering as it went down.  Looked like the pilot knew what he was doing."

Whitty did know what he was doing.  But he now wants to know what went wrong with the engine.

"You're always wondering how you're going to do if it happens to you.  But, I guess the training pays off," said Whitty.

We did some digging and found the plane was up to date on its certifications.  The pilots says the plane will stay inside a hanger at Page Field in Fort Myers while the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating.

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