Off Field Landing of the Week
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Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 9:44 pm


Postby MerlinFAC » Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:17 pm

Fortunately, very few incidents related to SNF this year.

This one's really most notable for the relatively young ages of those involved... sounds like it was handled quite well. Good to see younger folks involved in aviation.

From: ... -breaking/

Teen pilot makes emergency landing in Hardee County
Published: April 18, 2010

An 18-year-old pilot and his younger brother who had been at Lakeland's Sun 'n Fun Fly-in had to make an emergency landing this afternoon in Hardee County.

Pilot Juan Ortega of Weston had engine trouble and flew his Cessna 152 onto Mel Smith Road, a rural dirt road in eastern Hardee County, said Hardee County Sheriff's Maj. Randy Dey.

When he landed, the plane's left wing clipped a fence post and the plane veered into a ditch, Dey said.

Ortega and his 15-year-old passenger, Andres Ortega, weren't injured. They are both from the city of Weston, which is near Fort Lauderdale. They were traveling back to South Florida.

The plane's nose gear collapsed and the left wing had minor damage, Dey said.

Both teenagers had gone to the air show in Lakeland over the weekend and were returning home, Dey said.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration have been called to investigate the accident.

One the local paper's website, this headline was right next to one reading "Tomato workers protest over field safety" :D

From: ... mato-Field

Pilot Makes Emergency Landing in Tomato Field
Police Say Engine Failed, but Nobody Was Injured

By Jeremy Maready

Published: Wednesday, April 14, 2010 at 11:19 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, April 14, 2010 at 11:18 p.m.

LAKELAND | A Titan T-51 Mustang made an emergency landing in a Lakeland tomato field Wednesday after its engine failed when the pilot attempted to alternate between fuel tanks during the Sun 'n Fun Fly-In, according to the Lakeland Police Department.

The pilot tried to land the plane, a three-fourth size replica of a World War II P-51 Mustang, on a dirt road. But a wheel veered off the road and the propeller dug into the dirt of the field at 5809 Timberwood Road, near Ewell Road, southwest of Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, said police Sgt. Terri Smith.

The pilot, William Koleno II, 37, of Geneva, Ohio, and his passenger, Ronald Dalin, 46, of Ashtabula, Ohio, were not injured, officials said.

The incident happened shortly after 1 p.m. in a field owned by Batista Madonia of East Coast Brokers in Mulberry, police reports said.

"As they went down, the wind caused them to shift slightly and a right tire went off the road," Smith said. "The propeller of the plane dug into the ground and broke, sending it off into the field."

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the emergency landing.

NTSB investigator Timothy Monville told police this could be classified as an incident or an accident, depending on the damage to the plane, officials said.

"He could not determine which until the airplane was lifted up and he could see how much damage there was," Smith said. "They had called for the equipment to do this. The airplane was then going to be taken to a different location where the investigation would continue."

The damage to the plane, a home-built model, looked minor, Smith said. "It was a pretty gentle landing."

The plane typically costs about $90,000 fully equipped, according to the company's Web site.

Jeremy Maready can be reached at or 863-802-7592.

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