ORLANDO, FLA. (WSVN) – A pilot was forced to make an unusual maneuver after experiencing a midair emergency above Central Florida.
Cameras captured the small one-propeller plane nestled in the shade of two palm trees in Orlando, Friday afternoon.
“I think the palm trees, I think, is what stopped it,” said area resident Alice Caraballo.
Witness Raiah Collins pulled out her smartphone and recorded video of the emergency landing on University Boulevard.
“At first I thought it was cool, he was flying low, and then all of a sudden, it got a little bit more serious,” she said, “and we saw it kind of drop, and that’s why I took my phone out to take a video.”
Incredibly, the pilot was able to avoid traffic.
“I ran and said, ‘Are you OK, are you OK?’ He said – he never said anything; he was maybe drowsy,” said homeowner Samia Masood.
Masood said she was home cooking at the time when she heard the unexpected guest pull into her driveway.
“I was worried about him. This is the first thing on my mind, I was worried about him,” she said, “but since he said, ‘I’m OK,’ I feel better.”
According to FlightAware, the plane took off from Orlando Executive Airport at 3:44 p.m. on Friday. It had only been in the sky for five minutes when it crashed.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the 40-year-old pilot had a mechanical failure that took the plane down.
“The pilot is good; he has no injuries,” said FHP Sgt. Casey Briolat. “He does have a bandage to the top of his head, but he refused transport by [emergency medical services] to the hospital.”
Masood said the real hero is the Mother Mary statue outside her home. She believes the plane would have hit her house had it not been for the statue.
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