B R S LEASING INC: http://registry.faa.gov/N49772
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Orlando FSDO-15
AIRCRAFT LANDED SHORT OF THE RUNWAY INTO THE WATER, LEESBURG, FLORIDA.
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 150
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Flight Phase: APPROACH (APR)
LEESBURG -- Two Sunair Aviation employees pulled a pilot from the water Thursday morning after he crashed near the Leesburg International Airport.
Authorities say a small plane with one person onboard crashed short of Runway 3 and into a marshy area a little after 11 a.m.
Cody Shackelford and Austin Wyndham work at Sunair Aviation, which handles things like aircraft movement and fueling at the airport.
They said when they heard about the accident, they jumped into a golf cart and drove down to the area. They waded into the swamp up to their necks and started yelling the pilot's name.
"He finally called us and let us know he was OK, which was a huge relief because you don’t know what you’re walking up on," said Shackelford.
"He said he was fine. I think he probably made a good landing. He knew it was coming, he popped the door so the door jam didn’t get stuck to make sure he could get out," said Wyndham.
Wyndham says the man told him he lost power as he was coming in for a landing.
Authorities say the pilot was evaluated for injuries and refused further medical attention.
The FAA is now investigating.
Leesburg, Fla. — A small plane crashed Thursday morning while coming into land at the Leesburg Airport, fire officials said.
The Leesburg Fire Department said the plane landed short of the runway and ended up in a small pond.
Fire officials said it is unclear why the plane missed the runway.
Cody Shackelford and Justin Windham, who work at the airport, were the first people to go looking for the plane after the crash.
The men drove a golf cart as far as they could and then ended up wading into deep marshland, not accessible by boat or vehicle.
They said the pilot, who was in his late 70s, was struggling to float by hanging onto lily pads.
Officials said the pilot was the only person on board and was not injured in the crash.
The Federal Aviation Administration is on the scene and investigating the crash.
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