Friday, June 9, 2017

Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain, N323AP, Dingman Marine Inc: Incident occurred June 01, 2017 at Orlando Executive Airport (KORL), Orange County, Florida

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Orlando, Florida

Dingman Marine Inc: http://registry.faa.gov/N323AP


Aircraft on landing, struck an alligator.


Date: 01-JUN-17

Time: 06:15:00Z
Regis#: N323AP
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA31
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
City: ORLANDO
State: FLORIDA

ORLANDO, Fla. -  A pilot fatally struck an alligator last week while landing a plane at Orlando Executive Airport.

The pilot said his plane hit the gator, but he wouldn't provide further details because he said the Federal Aviation Administration is still investigating the incident.

Another pilot, Brad Pierce, posted a photo on Facebook, calling the incident "one of the craziest things I've ever seen in all my years in aviation."

Pierce said in the post, which has been shared almost 2,000 times, that a pilot was crossing a runway when an 11-foot gator jumped up and struck the wing of his Navajo as he was landing.

"The gator was killed instantly, and the aircraft sustained damage to the wing," Pierce said.

Eyewitness News has since learned the pilot is Rick Crose, a pilot in Orlando.

The wing of the Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain was damaged by the gator when it hit the plane. The pilot was not hurt.

The airport is bordered by Lake Underhill and Lake Barton.

A spokesperson for the airport told Eyewitness News that Crose was landing on Runway-7 at night when he noticed a large object in the center line. As he touched down, he hit the gator.

"I've never seen one on a taxiway or a runway. GOAA does a really nice job of ensuring there is a nice harmony and balance between nature and man and the machines that are out there. So it is insane. It is absolutely crazy to see something like this," Pierce said.

Story, video and photo:  http://www.wftv.com

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