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Reliable Jet Maintenance manager leaps out of path of skidding plane in Boca Raton

Posted at 4:13 PM, Sep 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-12 16:52:12-04

BOCA RATON, Fla. — A pilot and passenger are doing okay after a frightening plane crash at Boca Raton Airport on Wednesday.

Surveillance video from Reliable Jet Maintenance showed the moment a plane stalled in the air and dropped into parking lot, skidding across the asphalt. A maintenance manager had just seconds to leap out of the crashed plane's path.

GALLERY: Plane crash at Boca Raton Airport

"Boom, it was just a loud sound. Boom! Honestly, I wasn't expecting it was an airplane. I thought it was just something happen on 95," said Peter Whyte, the maintenance manager at Reliable Jet Maintenance.

Whyte was captured on surveillance video leaping out of the way. The airplane's wing came within inches of his legs.

"I was just seeing the wing coming towards me, just quick instinct. I just dropped the bags and just jumped away from it and just run," said Whyte.

Then, he quickly jumped into rescue mode.

"It came to rest right there. I just started calling out to my co-workers, let's go, let's go," added Whyte.

With fuel spewing out of the plane and fears that it could go up in flames, Whyte and his co-workers reached the pilot and co-pilot.

"Me and Elvis went and got the pilot out. The pilot was bleeding from his nose and his mouth, but he said he was okay and we are happy for that," Whyte said.

Jonathan Burls is the President of Reliable Jet Maintenance. He said his employees were also lucky. When the plane hit the ground, it skidded toward the hangar where explosive chemicals are kept.

"Skidded across here towards the hangar and fortunately it hit this tree which spun it away from all the hazardous and explosive chemicals that we store in the hangar," said Burls.

The FAA and NTSB are both investigating the incident. The pilot and co-pilot are okay. The pilot who is an orthodontist in Boca Raton also has certifications as an airport transfer pilot, ground instructor, and flight instructor.