MERRITT ISLAND, Florida - A plane made a crash landing at the Merritt Island Airport today with minor damage to the plane and no injury to the pilot.
Brevard County Fire Rescue (BCFR) were dispatched to Merritt Island Airport, 900 Airport Road, at 11:42 today for a reported plane crash. Units from Station 43, located adjacent to the airport, responded to the scene and arrived within one minute of receiving the call.
BCFR spokesperson Lt. Jeffrey Taylor said that fire rescue crews reported a single engine Cessna 177 RG airplane was sitting upright on the runway with minor damage to the propeller and bottom of the plane. The airplane, which seats four, had only the 60 year-old male pilot on board. "He was uninjured and able to walk away from the incident though he was visibly shaken by the event," said Taylor.
Witnesses related to firefighters that the plane was attempting to land and bypassed the airport on its first attempt. The pilot raised the landing gear as he circled the airport. On his second approach, the pilot apparently failed to lower the gear prior to landing. Airport officials described the pilot as a "new" pilot and cite pilot error as the cause of the crash.
The plane had been rented from Voyager Aviation Inc., based at the Merritt Island Airport. No damage estimate to the airplane was immediately available.
Fire crews assisted airport officials and member of the Brevard County Sheriff's Aviation unit in removing the airplane from the runway. The airport was shut down for about a half hour as a result of the incident.