Pilot Talks about Crash Landing in Florida

Robert Robertson
Robert Robertson

By Michelle Kosinski

FT. LAUDERDALE, Florida (KHNL) - A former Hawaii pilot, crash lands his plane in Florida.

As the aircraft disintegrates around him, he miraculously emerges from the wreckage -- alive.

Monday, he speaks about last month's crash for the very first time.

Right here on I-95 just north of Commercial Boulevard on the south side a plane just crash.

When Robert Robertson's plane crash landed on the side of I-95, about the only thing left was Robert Robertson.

Still strapped into his seat, with broken bones and gashes, his plane disintegrated , around him.

Minutes earlier, he thought he was going to die. The right engine of the plane he was piloting fails just after takeoff.  The 911 calls poured in.

"A plane just crashed on 95?"

"Yes, ma'am."

But Robertson, with more than a decade of flying experience, managed to bring his 1964 Beech twin engine down, feet away from the busy highway. All the metal and machinery that protected him didn't make it. But he did!

The wings, and cockpit, almost ALL of his plane -- gone, and witnesses thought he was, too, until he showed signs of life -- touching his head. People on the ground couldn't believe it.

"I'm still shaking. I'm still shaking," said Robertson.

Robertson had been flying for two years with Monarch Air, a cargo company based in Fort Lauderdale, making several runs a day to the Bahamas.

Here he is seven years ago, working in Hawaii. Flying a television crew over the scene of another terrible crash.

"When it happens it is spooky, it makes the hair stand up in the back of your neck. But, the guy flying the plane knew what he was getting into," Robertson said.

Fast forward to his own crash, and no doubt his experience helped him survive.

When Robertson's right engine failed almost immediately, he didn't panic. He turned it off -- to avoid it bringing him down even faster and he managed to crash land on the side of the interstate.

He's banged up pretty badly... with broken bones that will leave him in casts for a few months.

But if anyone can find the "lucky" in an extremely unlucky situation, it appears to be Robertson. Strapped in, and determined to keep flying.