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2 men were flying to get tacos when small plane went down in Everglades

Both were safely rescued in a remote area off I-75

Jose Ecarri says he and his pilot friend were flying from Tamiami to Arcadia to grab some tacos on Tuesday when the engine of their small plane failed and they landed in a remote area of the Florida Everglades — miraculously unscathed.
Jose Ecarri says he and his pilot friend were flying from Tamiami to Arcadia to grab some tacos on Tuesday when the engine of their small plane failed and they landed in a remote area of the Florida Everglades — miraculously unscathed.

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. – Jose Ecarri says he and his pilot friend were flying from Tamiami to Arcadia to grab some tacos on Tuesday when the engine of their small plane failed and they landed in a remote area of the Florida Everglades — miraculously unscathed.

“We were like 2,000 feet and we had an engine failure,” said Ecarri, 21. “We looked at each other and we were like, ’We’re alive.’ This doesn’t happen very often.”

Sky 10 was over the scene before noon when the men were rescued near Mile Marker 55 of I-75.

The men were seen walking around the plane on the ground.

Our cameras then captured a Miami-Dade Fire Rescue chopper hoisting the men up into the helicopter one at a time using a harness.

Sky 10 captured footage as the men were hoisted into a rescue chopper after a small plane went down near Mile Marker 55.
Sky 10 captured footage as the men were hoisted into a rescue chopper after a small plane went down near Mile Marker 55.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the single-engine Piper PA-32 “made a forced landing on a highway in the Everglades, approximately 20 miles north of Ochopee, Fla., around 9:50 a.m.”

“We were going down and we were trying to reach I-75 but we couldn’t make it,” Ecarri said.

Fire rescue took the pilot back to Tamiami and brought Ecarri to a nearby fire control station where he reunited with his mother. The two embraced and discussed the scary moment when they thought he wouldn’t make it.

“People don’t usually survive this kind of stuff, and the rate we were descending, we were in a dive,” he explained. “I was thinking about my grandpa. He’s up there and he will save me. He saved me today.”

Although terrifying, it truly makes for a Taco Tuesday tale two men are lucky to live to tell.

“Not a good day to get tacos,” Ecarri joked, though he and his mother said they still planned to get tacos later Tuesday.

The FAA will continue to investigate.

WATCH THE FULL SKY10 VIDEO BELOW:

Sky 10 is flying over the scene where a small plane made an emergency landing in the Everglades not far from the Dade...

Posted by WPLG Local 10 on Tuesday, June 8, 2021

About the Authors:

Saira Anwer joined the Local 10 News team in July 2018. Saira is two-time Emmy-nominated reporter and comes to South Florida from Madison, Wisconsin, where she was working as a reporter and anchor.

David Selig is the Digital Executive Producer at WPLG, overseeing Local10.com.