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Fri, Oct 14, 2011

Two Injured In Forced Landing On FL Turnpike

TBM 700 Crumpled, Two Men Transported To Hospital

The US National Transportation Safety Board is on the case of an aviation accident that snarled midday highway traffic on the Florida Turnpike Wednesday afternoon about 1300. The Broward County Aviation Department reported the craft was a Socata TBM 700 turboprop (file photo shows similar aircraft). Florida Highway Patrol reports the plane encountered some sort of mechanical problem, and the pilot managed to get it down without hitting any vehicles.

NBC Miami quotes FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen in reporting the flight departed North Perry Airport for a round trip to Opa-locka, and FHP adds the pilot had been cleared to land back at North Perry, but for some reason set it down in the northbound lanes of the turnpike west of town, and hit the median barrier.

An asphalt worker nearby, Carlos Parodi, told NBC Miami the plane crashed 30 feet from his truck, and fuel was leaking, but when it did not catch fire, he ran to help extricate two occupants trapped by a jammed door. Both were taken by ambulance to Memorial Regional Hospital with what are described as non-life-threatening injuries.

The pilot has been identified as 49-year-old Alain Jaubert of Julos, France. His passenger was 50-year-old Donato Pinto, an Italian native who now lives in Aventura, Florida. The wreckage was not completely cleared from the highway for five hours after the accident. There has been no comment from the plane's registered owner, SV Leasing Company of Florida.

The Socata TBM 700 is a single-engine turboprop derived from a 1980s Mooney piston prototype, and is normally configured with either six or seven seats. Production was discontinued in 2006, when the aircraft was replaced by the TBM 850, a more powerful variant.



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