Banner plane clips fence before landing on Virginia Key

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A small plane landed off the Rickenbacker Causeway Wednesday afternoon, the Federal Aviation Administration confirmed.

According to FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen, a single-engine Piper PA-25 that was towing a banner made the landing at 1:30 p.m.

Bergen said the plane had departed from North Perry Airport in Hollywood and the pilot was the only person aboard the plane. According to Miami Fire Rescue Lt. Pete Sanchez, the plane was on land at the Central District Wastewater Treatment Plant in Virginia Key.

“We saw the advertisement plane drop its flag, and we saw it and were like, ‘Oh, should we go get it?’” Jessica Botero said. “And the plane was spinning, so I guess the guy saw that it fell and then suddenly it kind of lost control and went over the trees. And it was super low so we didn’t know if it was going to crash.”

Banner plane crashes in Miami-Dade County. (WPLG)

Botero, who was on the water with another woman on rented kayaks, said the plane crashed seconds later.

Miami-Dade police spokesman Angel Rodriguez said the pilot was able to get out of the plane and appeared to be OK.

According to Miami Fire Rescue officials, the pilot reported engine trouble and clipped a fence while trying to land.

Bergen said the FAA will investigate the incident and the National Transportation Safety Board will determine the probable cause of the accident.

The pilot’s identity has not yet been released.

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Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for

Christina returned to Local 10 in 2019 as a reporter after covering Hurricane Dorian for the station. She is an Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist and previously earned an Emmy Award while at WPLG for her investigative consumer protection segment "Call Christina."