Giant gator picks wrong prey at Florida airport
ORLANDO, Fla. – What should have been a smooth landing turned scaly when a pilot at Orlando Executive Airport hit an 11-foot, 500-pound alligator that was crossing the runway, reports CBS Orlando affiliate WKMG-TV.
Local pilot Brad Pierce posted a photo on Facebook Tuesday showing the lifeless reptile and explaining the information he was given about the incident.
“I was told the pilot was flying a Navajo and the gator jumped up and struck the wing during his landing. The gator was killed instantly and the aircraft sustained damage to the wing,” Pierce wrote.
Pierce’s post has been shared more than 2,000 times.
The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority said a Piper PA 31 was landing around 2:15 a.m. on Thursday when the plane fatally struck the reptile. The gator was killed on impact. The pilot wasn’t injured but the aircraft did sustain some damage.
Traffic at the airport wasn’t impacted after the collision or when a trapper removed the animal.