Small aircraft makes emergency landing on North Fort Myers golf course

Reporter: Gail Levy Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:

A plane comes out of nowhere and lands gracefully on a golf course as people try to finish the back nine holes.

It happened just before noon at Del Tura Golf and Country Club in North Fort Myers on Thursday. Authorities say no one was hurt in the landing.

This might be the most action the hole nine west has ever seen on the Del Tura Golf Course.

“I golf and to see a plane at the end of a hole. Now I guess he was probably one under par,” said David Keller.

It was not quite a hole-in-one, but if you ask Dick Rose, he’ll give this pilot a birdie any day for landing anywhere but his living room.

“He did a great job of landing it. And the good thing is I live on nine west, so he missed my house,” said Rose.

The pilot of this single-engine Piper PA-28R was the only one on board for this emergency landing.

Everyone in the Del Tura neighborhood had to come to get a look.

“We’re playing, finishing nine north, another course that we played. This one gets a text of the plane. And she’s she goes look, there’s a plane west somewhere. I said, ‘well, we’re on our way to west. Here we go,'” said Kathy Montemaggi.

The pilot only had about half a mile to go until he reached the airfield across from US-41, but he didn’t, making Thursday in Del Tura a lot more memorable.

“I think it’s a hoot. If you live long enough, you see everything,” said Pat Steele.

“It’s excitement. You know, in geezerville you got to have something happen every once in a while, and you know, there’s pickleball, and there’s all kinds of events, but to have a plane land on the green, you know, not too often,” said Keller.

As it turns out, this was not the first time a plane has come down in the Del Tura community.

“My mom lived here since ’86. And one plane rammed into a house.”

In 1991 there was a fiery plane crash. A plane took off from Pine Shadows Airpark before nose-diving into a home, destroying it and damaging three others nearby.

Two adults and three children in the plane were injured, but all survived.

“This is a good place to live and normally the safe place to live, but now I think maybe start looking up before we were walking. We better keep an eye on the sky,” said Joseph Noto.

The flight down is a lot greener 32 years later. Now neighbors hope that when this pilot takes off again, the green doesn’t go with him.

“Only in Del Tura will this happen,” said Rose.

Neighbors said Thursday’s plane landing could have been much worse as no one could hear it due to the plane suffering an engine failure. They said if it landed closer to the pickleball courts, it would have been a very different story.

The cause of the emergency landing is still under investigation.

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