Broward County

Small plane crash-lands upside-down in the Everglades; pilot survives

CBS4

A Piper PA25 crashed into the Everglades Thursday. The pilot was rescued.
A Piper PA25 crashed into the Everglades Thursday. The pilot was rescued. CBS4

Federal aviation officials were investigating a plane crash in western Pembroke Pines on Thursday.

The Piper PA25 went down in a marshy area at around 2 p.m. about 13 miles west of North Perry Airport — about three miles west of U.S. 27 and north of Pembroke Road — according to Federal Aviation Administration officials.

By the time rescuers located the pilot, he was standing calmly, using his phone and standing on his upside-down plane that had been towing a banner.

“Usually they fly right over here to look at the camp, but it sounded like it was off in the distance and it just like stopped, and I thought it was kind of strange,” resident Rod Brown said.

A Broward Sheriff’s Office chopper scooped the pilot up and whisked him away to a landing spot off U.S. 27. Once there, he huddled with investigators.

“Apparently the pilot had to swim from the plane, so it’s heavy sawgrass and water,” said Kevin Butler with the Broward Sheriff’s Office. “We don’t know how far it is from the land. We’re going to go out there and see what kind of recovery we can make of the airplane.”

A coworker from the banner company later arrived to check on the pilot.

The pilot was brought to a fish camp and put on an air boat to accompany investigators to the crash scene.

FAA officials said the National Transportation Safety Board will try to find out what caused the crash.

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