NEWS: Florida plane audio reveals moment pilot lost both engines before crashing on I-75 near Naples
Chilling audio captured the final moments when a small plane lost both its engines and crashed onto a busy Florida highway near a wealthy Naples enclave, killing two people aboard the aircraft on Friday.
“Hop-A-Jet 823, lost both engines, emergency,” the pilot of the Bombardier Challenger 600 jet relayed to the nearby control tower.
“I’m making an emergency landing. We’re clear to land but we’re not going to make the runway. We’ve lost both engines,” the pilot says before the audio fell silent, with the plane eventually crashing on Interstate 75.
The aircraft, carrying five people on board, had taken off from The Ohio State University Airport in Columbus just after 1 p.m. Friday and was bound for Naples Airport when it reported the engine failure, Naples Airport told WBBH.
As the aircraft fell short of its destination, the pilot seemingly made one last ditch effort to land the plane on the highway but crashed at around 3:15 p.m.
The private jet had struck a car as it landed on Interstate 75 near mile marker 107, approximately 5 miles away from the airport.
Two fatalities have been confirmed, according to the Collier County Sheriff’s Office.
The plane’s wing had clipped the vehicle and dragged it in front of another car before veering onto the shoulder and hitting a concrete wall.
“It’s seconds that separated us from the car in front of us,” witness Brianna Walker said. “The wing pulverized this one car.”
“The plane was over our heads by inches,” she added. “It took a hard right and skid across the highway.”
Walker said the terrifying experience resembled a dramatic movie scene.
“It feels unreal, like a movie,” she added. “It was seconds between us dying.”
Video posted on social media shows the aircraft completely engulfed in flames in the middle of the southbound lane, spewing black smoke as halted drivers look on.
Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board are expected to arrive at the site Saturday to “document the scene and examine the aircraft. The aircraft will then be recovered to a secure facility for further evaluation,” according to Local10.
The plane was manufactured in 2004 and owned by East Shore Aviation LLC, a Fort Lauderdale-based company, according to FAA records.