Small plane crash lands on Siesta Key beach

Siesta Key, Florida -- For a second time in three weeks a second small plane makes an emergency landing in Sarasota.

Feeling relieved but still a bit shaken up, 65-year-old Earle Swan of Bradenton managed to land a replica World War II biplane an acrobatic training plane and walk away. The plane came to a stop along the shore and flipped upside down.

When 10 News said to Swan "good job landing the plane" he responded with a smile and "Thank you!"

"He was coming out of the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport on a training flight," says Lt. Daniel Tutko, of the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.

Not long after leaving the airport, deputies say Swan made a mayday call to the airport and traffic controllers informed the sheriff's office.

The pilot told deputies his engine cut out as he was flying along the densely populated Siesta Key beach he continued south past Crescent Beach and landed the plane on a private beach in the Sanderling Cove neighborhood.

Tutko says, "He did the best thing in this emergency he can do to keep the plane from a populated area and hope for the best not injuring anyone on the ground."

It's incredible really," says David Havill who works at Anna's Deli across from Crescent beach near the accident.

"The ability to maintain the balance not crash it but safely land it blows my mind," says Havill.

Havill said he feels lucky. "Pretty much, Thank You."

The passenger, 52-year-old Martin Thomas, was transported to Sarasota Memorial Hospital for some deep lacerations that were reported as minor.

The plane will be towed away so the FAA and NTSB can continue to investigate the cause of the crash.

The FAA reported 7,000 general aviation accidents between 2009-2013 and there were 2011 deaths

RELATED STORY: NTSB neglecting duty on small plane crashes

A father and his young daughter were walking on a beach in Venice on July 27 when they were struck by a plane making an emergency landing. The father was killed and the daughter, 9-year-old Oceana Irizarry, passed away in the hospital a few days later. That case is also being investigated by the FAA.

See Also:

PHOTOS: Deadly plane crash on Caspersen Beach


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment