Small plane makes emergency landing in Crandon Park

Pilot suffers broken nose

By Paradise Afshar - Digital Editor, Layron Livingston - Reporter

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. - The pilots of a small plane performed an emergency landing late Thursday night in Crandon Park, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue said. 

Rescuers from Key Biscayne and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue treated the plane's two pilots, Lt. Felipe Lay said. 

"Fortunately, they suffered only minor abrasions, and one gentleman had to be transported to a nearby hospital for non-life-threatening injuries," Lay said.  

Local 10 News learned on Friday that one of the pilots broke his nose, but has since been released from the hospital. 

The plane took out a light pole and part of a tree during its descent. 

"When I saw that it was a legit plane, I mean, I was really (shaken)," witness Joey Kravetz said. "At first we thought a tree fell, because we saw, like, a big, kind of long-thing lying on the ground, kind of encroaching into the street, and then, as we got closer, we saw that it was like a two-seater plane." 

Jake Schwartz was also at the crash scene. 

"This is the kind of thing you see on the news a lot, but you never expect to happen," he said. "A plane's never going to go down while I'm on the street, and one to two minutes different, maybe, and the flight could have crashed down on the street and we could have been there."

Miami-Dade aviation officials said the two men on board were both licensed and certified to fly.

They said one of the pilots was getting some additional "instrument flight rules training," which is when pilots use only their instrument panel while flying in complete darkness.

The pilots left Palm Beach International Airport Thursday and were on the last leg on the trip, heading to Miami Executive Airport, when they began to experience engine problems.

"When the engine gives way, your plane just drops," Paul Malavenda, who witnessed the crash and flies similar planes, said. "It takes skill (to slow the plane and land), but it's a miracle." 

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board have been notified about the crash, Lay said.

A statement from the FAA said the plane lost power at about 11:20 p.m. 

Just days ago, a different Dean International plane went down in the Everglades.

The 29-year-old pilot was later found dead near the wreckage.

Records show that Dean International has had 23 incidents since 2007 and four deadly crashes since 2012. The company also received a $15,000 maintenance fine in 2010.

The FAA is investigating both crashes. 

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