Jose Ecarri claims he and a pilot friend were flying from Tamiami to Arcadia for tacos on Tuesday when their little plane's engine failed and they landed safely in a remote part of the Florida Everglades.
Ecarri, 21, told News 6 partner Local 10 News, "We were like 2,000 feet and we got an engine failure." “We all looked at each other and said, 'We're alive.' This isn't something that happens very often.”
When the men were rescued near Mile Marker 55 along I-75, Sky 10 was over the scene before noon.
On the ground, the men were seen going around the plane.
A Miami-Dade Fire Rescue chopper was then seen pulling the men into the helicopter one by one using a harness.
The single-engine Piper PA-32 “made a forced landing on a highway in the Everglades, roughly 20 miles north of Ochopee, Fla., around 9:50 a.m.,” according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
“We were heading down and attempting to get to I-75, but we couldn't,” Ecarri explained.
The pilot was returned to Tamiami by fire rescue, and Ecarri was taken to a nearby fire control station, where he was reunited with his mother. They hugged and talked about the terrifying time when they believed he wouldn't make it.