Plane crashes at Merritt Island airport

Officials say pilot was new

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ORLANDO, Fla. - A single engine airplane crash-landed at the Merritt Island Airport on Tuesday after a "new" pilot failed to lower the landing gear.

The 60-year-old man was shaken but uninjured when the Brevard County Fire Rescue arrived at the airport at 11:42 a.m. He was the only one aboard the airplane.

Witnesses told firefighters that the the plane attempted to land once but bypassed the airport and the pilot raised the landing gear as he circled around for a second approach. According to witnesses, the pilot apparently failed to lower the landing gear again for the second attempt, causing the plane to crash at the airport. 

The plane, a Cessna 177 RG, was sitting upright on the runway and only suffered minor damage to the propeller and bottom of the plane.

Airport officials described the pilot as a "new" pilot and cite pilot error as the cause of the crash, according to a release from Brevard County Fire Rescue.

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