Photo provided by Indian River County Sheriff’s Office
INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — No injuries were reported after a small plane headed for the local airport instead crashed on a road behind the county jail, officials said.
Engine failure caused the plane to go down, Indian River County Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Kyle Kofke said. The incident comes as the Vero Beach Regional Airport prepares to have a full scale disaster exercise next week at one of its terminals.
Plane crash is just to the south of the retention pond by @IRCSheriff jail. The pilot was reportedly trying to land on jail access road because he couldn’t make it to the airport. Pilot landed in the grassy area then the plane hit the ditch and turned around. Preliminary info
— IRCSheriff (@IRCSheriff) February 8, 2019
The small plane – which belongs to the Flight Safety training school – landed about 6 p.m. Friday in a grassy area near 40th Street and 39th Square, Kofke said. The pilot was trying to land on the jail access road because he couldn’t make it to the airport, located at 3400 Cherokee Drive, Vero Beach.
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No injuries were reported after a small plane crashed behind the Indian River County Jail Friday afternoon. The aircraft sustained an engine failure, fire rescue crews said. The FAA is investigating the incident. #VeroNews
Posted by Nick Samuel on Friday, February 8, 2019
The pilot struck a street sign and a pole on the road before crashing into the bushes. The pilot, who was the only person aboard, escaped without injury, Kofke said.
No fires or fuel leaks were reported.
The plane was headed to the Vero Beach airport, where the flight school is based, Kofke said. The aircraft sustained damage to its left wing.
Details on where the plane took off from or estimates in damage were not immediately available. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the wreck.
Photos by Nick Samuel and provided by the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office
This story will be updated.