Small plane lands on I-4 access ramp in Maitland

Image 1 of 2

Authorities are responding after a small plane had to make an unexpected landing along an access ramp to Interstate 4 in Maitland.

The plane is located on the ramp coming from eastbound lanes of Maitland Blvd., which merge onto westbound lanes of Interstate 4.  This is on the southwest side of the I-4/Maitland Blvd. interchange.

The Florida Highway Patrol said the plane clipped a vehicle on the ground, as the pilot was landing.  Remarkably, no serious injuries have been reported.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration database, the fixed wing, single-engine Piper aircraft was manufactured in 1965 and is registered to a Llod McKinney, of Gurley, Alabama.

When the plane landed on the ramp, emergency crews rushed to check it out. So did Chris Csandli. 

“I heard the plane coming down, heard it sputtering, heard the noise when it hit the ground,” he explained. 

He was on his bike down the street at Applebee’s when he heard the noise. 

“I knew immediately that the airplane was in distress.”

That’s because Csandli is a pilot, and to anyone who flies, that sputtering sound is haunting. 

“I just heard it, and then I saw it when I came around the corner. I heard it sputtering. I came around the corner. I saw it came to a stop.”

He rode right up to it, before he was asked to move by officials. Up close, he said, “it looks like a brand new plane with a wing bent a little bit, that’s it.”

The plane will remain there until the FAA finishes its investigation. 

“I think it’s a miracle. Not the miracle on the Hudson, but the miracle on I-4.”

This is the second time in as many years that a small plane has had to make an emergency landing along I-4 in the Orlando-metropolitan area.  

In November 2017, a Carbon Cub Light Sport SS aircraft lost power during a flight, according to Seminole County Fire Rescue, and the pilot had to bring the aircraft down near State Road 434 in Longwood. The pilot landed along a section of pavement that had recently been constructed in the median, as part of the I-4 Ultimate widening project. He did so without any injuries to himself or damage to the plane.