Twin-engine plane lands on I-10 in Jacksonville

September 1st, 2010 by Staff

JACKSONVILLE, Florida — Traffic remains backed up after a twin-engine airplane made an emergency landing on Interstate 10 this morning.

Cars are stopped starting three miles east of Interstate 295; one westbound lane on Interstate 10 is open but slow moving. All lanes are open eastbound, but there are slowdowns due to rubbernecking. The crash scene is west of I-295, and east of Chaffee Road South on I-10 westbound.

According to Florida Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. Bill Leeper, the plane, which took off from Herlong Airport on the Westside, lost an engine while heading west around 8 this morning.

The pilot tried to turn around and head back to Herlong, but the other engine began having trouble, forcing the plane down.

Leeper said the pilot managed to fly under power lines, but over cars before finally ditching the plane, which came to a rest just off the highway.

Nobody has been reported injured in the plane or on the ground.

There were two people on board, according to Debbie Jones spokeswoman of the Jacksonville Airport Authority.

The pilot reportedly has about 30 years of experience, and the passenger was a flight instructor.

An FAA spokesperson said the plane, which took off around 8 a.m., was out of Herlong Airport but did not file a flight plan.

“It sounded like a World War II plane taking off,” said Bob Walsh, who lives near Herlong and witnessed the pilot having engine problems on takeoff. “I could tell right away he was having engine trouble…”

The FAA is sending investigators to the scene from Orlando.

George Alexander, who did not see the plane crash, but did see it on the road, said it skidded down the interstate. The wings were sheared off after hitting some pine trees.

Traffic remains backed up for miles on I-10 westbound.

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