ORLANDO, FLORIDA — An 11-foot alligator making its way across a runway at Orlando Executive Airport was killed as a plane was landing on June 1.
The gator apparently jumped up as the plane was flying over and was struck by the wing.
Brad Pierce, a pilot, posted a photo of the dead gator to Facebook and explained what happened.
“A local pilot hit an 11-foot alligator which was crossing runway 7/25 at Orlando Executive Airport (KORL). I was told the pilot was flying a Navajo and the gator jumped up and struck the wing during his landing. The gator was killed instantly and the aircraft sustained damage to the wing. One of the craziest things I've ever seen in all my years in aviation. Welcome to Florida folks!”
WFTV has identified the pilot as Rick Crose, who wasn't hurt. The photo has been shared more than 3,500 times.
Orlando Executive Airport’s motto, ironically, is “Orlando’s original airport, where nobody lands you closer.”