Plane forced to make emergency landing in Key Biscayne

KEY BISCAYNE, FLA. (WSVN) - An investigation is underway after a small plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Key Biscayne, leaving one person injured.

According to officials, two people on board a Cessna 172 were doing instrument flight rule training when the engine started to sputter. That’s when they decided to make an emergency landing along 600 Crandon Boulevard.

The plane struck a light pole and tree before it landed.

The student suffered a broken nose. Otherwise, there were no injuries to report, said officials.

“I see the pilot, and the pilot has a towel on his face like this, bleeding everywhere,” said Paul Malavenda, who recorded cellphone video of the crash’s aftermath. “It’s a miracle that he landed like he did.”

“At 11:23 p.m., Miami-Dade Fire Rescue responded to a possible plane down on Crandon Boulevard,” said MDFR Chief Ralph Baena. “When we arrived, we found that a plane had to make an emergency landing.”

Officials said the plane left Miami Executive Airport around 8:30 p.m., Thursday, and was headed to Fort Lauderdale Executive and Palm Beach International. At this point, it is unknown if the plane intended to land at either one of the airports, or if it was just flying in that general direction.

“You know, it’s not something you see every day,” said Baena, “so it definitely makes for an interesting call.”

The student pilot suffered a broken nose, while the flight instructor, said to be in his 30s, is expected to be OK.

“Along with the assistance of Key Biscayne Fire Rescue we rendered two patients,” said Baena. “One was stable and one got transported with minor injuries to a local hospital.”

Investigators said the student and instructor are part of Dean International Flight School.

This is the second plane crash involving a Dean International plane in just two weeks. Last Thursday, a 28-year-old man lost his life after crashing a Cessna 152 single-engine plane in the Everglades.

The National Transportation Safety Board reports 11 incidents connected to Dean International took place between 1998 and 2016, including three crashes and four deaths.

As of 3 p.m., Friday, the plane had been removed from the scene.

The NTSB and the Federal Aviation Administration are now looking into this crash landing.

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