Plane makes emergency landing in Windermere

Pilot found space away from homes

WINDERMERE, Fla. - A small plane was forced to land just a hundred yards from homes in Windermere Friday night.

The pilot was able to make it down safely in a field near Lake Cawood Drive and Winter Garden Vineland Road.

The Cessna 170 barely had a scratch on it after the emergency landing. The pilot, Robert Mitchell, said the engine went dead, the propeller stopped spinning and the plane started going down. Mitchell had only six minutes to find a safe place to land.

"There were probably half a dozen fields I could have picked but this one was, the advantage to this one was I could not be around any houses," Mitchell said. "You only get one shot at it so you need to do it right. But this is such a huge field, it'd be pretty hard to mess up coming into a field like this."

Mitchell said he became a pilot in the navy in 1958. He's had the plane since 1971 and said sometimes, there's a glitch.

"If you fly a plane for 10,000 hours, from time to time there will be problems."

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