Chilling audio captured the final moments when a small plane lost both engines and crashed on a busy Florida highway near a wealthy enclave of Naples, killing two people aboard the plane on Friday.
“Hop-A-Jet 823, lost both engines, emergency,” the pilot of the Bombardier Challenger 600 aircraft transmitted to the nearby control tower.
“I’m making an emergency landing. We have clearance to land but we won’t make it to the runway. We have lost both engines,” the pilot says before the audio went silent and the plane finally crashed on Interstate 75.
The plane, which had five people on board, had taken off from Ohio State University Airport in Columbus shortly after 1 p.m. Friday and was headed to Naples Airport when it reported engine failure, the airport said. Naples to WBBH.
As the plane did not reach its destination, the pilot apparently made a last-ditch effort to land the plane on the road, but it crashed around 3:15 p.m.
The private jet collided with a car as it landed on Interstate 75 near mile marker 107, approximately 5 miles from the airport.
Two bystanders watch as a Bombardier Challenger 600 plane is engulfed in flames after crashing on I-75 in Florida on Friday afternoon. Paulina Testerman A video posted on social media shows the plane completely engulfed in flames in the middle of the southbound lane, spewing black smoke as stopped drivers look on. @JobaRobinson via Storyful
Two deaths have been confirmed, according to the Collier County Sheriff’s Office.
The plane’s wing struck the vehicle and dragged it in front of another car before veering onto the shoulder and crashing into a concrete wall.
“It was seconds that separated us from the car in front of us,” said witness Brianna Walker. “The wing pulverized this car.”
“The plane was inches from our heads,” he added. “He turned sharply to the right and skidded down the road.”
The wreckage lies in the median of I-75 as a helicopter flies over Florida on Friday. @JobaRobinson via Storyful FDOT cameras captured black smoke rising into the air from the wreckage of a private jet that made an emergency landing on I-75 near Naples, Florida, on Friday. AP
Walker said the terrifying experience resembled a scene from a dramatic movie.
“It seems unreal, like a movie,” he added. “Seconds passed between our deaths.”
Video posted on social media programs The plane was completely engulfed in flames in the middle of the southbound lane, spewing black smoke as the stopped drivers looked on.
Cars are lined up on I-75 where the small plane crashed after an emergency landing on Feb. 9, 2024. FDOT While the FAA investigated, the area of I-75 around the crash site would be closed for at least least 24 hours, the Collier County Sheriff’s Office. AP
Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board are expected to arrive at the scene Saturday to “document the scene and examine the aircraft. The aircraft will then be recovered at a secure facility for further evaluation,” according to Local10.
The plane was manufactured in 2004 and is owned by East Shore Aviation LLC, a Fort Lauderdale-based company, according to FAA records.
With post cables