Pilot kisses ground after surviving crash landing
According to sun-sentinal report : Pilot kissed the tarmac after safely landing a small airplane with landing gear troubles Thursday at North Perry Airport in Pembroke Pines.
The nose gear of a Piper PA-28 collapsed as the aircraft landed at about 9 a.m. on a runway, said the Federal Aviation Administration, which will investigate.
There were two men aboard.
The plane is operated by Wayman Aviation, a flight school at the airfield.
A WSVN-Ch. 7 helicopter filmed the dramatic flight and tricky landing. According to the station, the helicopter followed the Piper for about an hour, letting the crew know when its gear was raised and lowered as it did touch and go maneuvers until it eventually landed safely.
Video of the Piper’s final approach to the runway showed the passenger holding his hands up in front of his face as the pilot steered to a safe stop. The men were able to toss their flight bags to the ground, get out of the disabled, single-engine plane and walk away from it.
The Piper’s pilot raised his baseball cap in an apparent salute to the chopper pilot before falling to his knees and brushing the runway with his lips.
He said the pilot is a master certified flight instructor who has been with the company for five or six years and was giving a lesson to a commercial pilot who is training to become an instructor.
“They were having trouble with the nose landing gear, which they reported to the tower,” Luy said. “They did a fantastic job, all the way into the landing. It was a nice, safe controlled emergency landing. Everyone is safe and unharmed.”
Luy declined to release the pilots’ names, citing company policy after incidents.
The helicopter helped the Piper and communicated with it by radio, Luy said.
“This is exactly what training is for, 90 percent is for emergency procedures, the ‘what ifs,’” Luy said. “On an airplane with retractable gear, three green lights tell you if the gears are down and locked. One of the lights didn’t go on. The helicopter told them the gear was down, and they figured out it was not locked.”
Luy said the emergency landing “appears to be a mechanical failure, but it’s still under investigation. The plane has been with us a long time, we know it thoroughly. You fly enough hours, eventually something is going to happen.”