Jet makes emergency landing near fire in Everglades

No injures reported

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – A small jet made an emergency landing Wednesday night in the Florida Everglades, where a brush fire was burning nearby.

The jet landed about three miles west of the Sawgrass Expressway in western Broward County.

Broward Sheriff's Office Department of Fire Rescue spokesman Mike Jachles said two people were on board, but they were not injured and were taken to Sawgrass Recreation Park.

The type of jet has been used as a military fighter jet trainer, but it has grown in popularity among private pilots in the U.S. 

"I looked up. It was a jet," Steve Radak, who was out fishing at the time, told Local 10 News. "It was very low, about 200 feet or less."

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Jim Peters said the pilot of "an experimental Aero Vodochody aircraft" that was headed to Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport made an emergency landing after it experienced an engine-related problem.

"It was making a sound, like a siren from a police vehicle," Radak said. "I was wondering, are they in trouble or are they just showing off?" 

Jachles said the plane landed on a levee.

About two miles from where the plane landed, smoke and flames could be seen just east of U.S. Highway 27 in Weston.

Firefighters weren't sure how the fire started since there wasn't any lighting in the area.

The FAA is investigating the emergency landing, and forestry officials are working to determine if the emergency landing and the fire are connected.

About the Authors:

Andrew Perez is a South Florida native who joined the Local 10 News team in May 2014.