Small plane lands near L-7 canal Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge

Pilot navigates landing on 14-foot wide space

A single-engine airplane was forced to make an emergency landing Wednesday morning in the Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge.

The pilot lost power around 10:30 a.m. and made an emergency landing on a levee about six miles south of Southern Boulevard near the L-7 canal.

"He did exactly what he was trained to do. The engine quit, he looked for a place to land and setup a good glide speed and landed," said WPTV Aviation Analyst David Bjellos.

Crews with the South Florida Water Management District told NewsChannel 5 the plane was not damaged and there was no damage to the levee.

Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office initially responded to the call and confirmed there were no injuries.

Bjellos says depending on what altitude the plane lost power, the pilot probably didn't have much time to react.

"If he was at 1,500 feet, he probably had 3 minutes. That's not a great deal of time, but more than enough. If he were at 500 feet, not much at all," said Bjellos.

The Light Sport Aircraft with Premier One Aviation flew out of the Tamiami Regional Airport just south of Miami Wednesday morning.

"The fact that he landed on a narrow road without damage and had the airplane repaired and flew off, shows that his training was well done," said Bjellos.

A mechanic came out to repair the plane, and it was back in the air in just a few hours.

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