Man, 83, Lands Plane on Expressway

Calls it "a perfect landing"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Carlos Miller
    Ralph Squeglia, 83, was forced to make an emergency landing on a South Florida expressway Sunday morning. He called it "a perfect landing."

    An 83-year-old pilot was forced to land on a busy expressway Sunday morning after experiencing engine trouble.

    Ralph Squeglia, who has been flying since 1944, said he was careful to avoid moving cars as he landed the plane on a stretch of the Sawgrass Expressway, just north of Oakland Park Blvd.

    "It was a perfect landing," he said as he stood near the plane waiting for Federal Aviation Administration officials to arrive on the scene to conduct an investigation.

    But it was not so perfect once he landed.

    “I was rolling straight and my tailspring broke, causing me to veer right,” he said.

    “Then the wing hit a light pole and I ended up here.”

    The homemade single-engine Hummelbird plane ended up on the side of the expressway as shocked drivers looked on. Squeglia was not injured.

    A Florida state trooper on the scene said Squeglia would not be cited for any traffic violations. The FAA has yet to comment.