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Pilot Makes Emergency Landing On Key Biscayne

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KEY BISCAYNE (CBSMiami) -- An investigation is underway after a pilot was forced to make an emergency landing on Key Biscayne Thursday night.

"This is going to be a plane down at Crandon Blvd. It's a plane down," someone could be heard saying over the radio.

Late Thursday a Cessna 172 made an emergency landing in Crandon Park in Key Biscayne--taking out a light pole and ending up in a tree.

"He managed to, I believe, got it stuck on top of the trees and then it just fell and he hit a light post in the way. It's a miracle no harm was sustained. He walked away perfectly fine. He was outside and walking when I saw him," said Paul Malavenda who spoke to the pilot.

Malavenda was on the scene just moments after the plane made an emergency landing. Two people were on board at the time.  An instructor and student were practicing instrument flying when they reportedly said the engine quit.

"He said that he really couldn't do anything because it just, once it's crashing, it's crashing, but he said he tried his best to get out-of-the-way of other people and he was going to try to land over there in the field but what happened was he just fell," said Malavenda.

The plane ended up just off Crandon Boulevard - feet from the road.  Neither person on board was seriously hurt. One of them had a broken nose.

"He was outside and walking when I saw him. He wasn't scared. He wasn't in shock. He was just kind of nervous because of the crowd, I guess," said Malavenda.

Crews spent much of the day taking the plane apart so they could move it out of the area.  People passing by were shocked to see a banged up plane, then to learn that no one was seriously injured.

"I'm happy there were no injuries and I'm impressed that somebody landed the plane on this road," said Josh Lerner who lives nearby.

The plane came from Dean International Flight School at Miami Executive Airport. That is the same flight school where, earlier this month, a student took a plane and crashed in the Everglades.  The student died in the crash.


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