Fisherman says airplane propeller falls from sky

People who fish off the Eau Gallie Causeway in Melbourne see a lot of things, but it's likely no other fisherman ever saw exactly what Turner Breeden saw on Wednesday, up close and personal.

"I looked a little closer, and saw it was a plane propeller!"

Breeden says the airplane propeller dropped about 50 feet from where he stood. 

"I immediately called 911.  I didn't know if the rest of the plane was coming down next or what was going on."

The 911 dispatcher told Breeden they just had a distress call from a plane that had lost a propeller.

"The engine started shuttering like crazy," explained pilot Pete Smith.  "I immediately aimed toward the airport.  We were high enough and close enough making the runway, and the propeller flew off!"

According to a spokeswoman at the Orlando-Melbourne International Airport, Smith and one passenger landed safely there just after noon.  It was an older plane called a Jabiru with wings higher than other planes helping Smith glide in for a safe landing.

"I made one of the best landings I've ever made!" Smith said.

Smith said he has 700 hours of flying on a Jabiru and used to be a Jabiru dealer, which he said helped him with the emergency landing.  He said he and a friend were on their way to Merritt Island for flight training.