Friday, October 22, 2004

Next Time, Go Greyhound

Here’s a guy who really should consider finding another mode of travel.

A pilot who crashed a small plane off the Florida Keys last year escaped serious injury Thursday when he ditched a twin-engine airplane into the ocean 11 miles off Hillsboro Inlet, officials said.

Denis Guillermo Murphy, 49, of Sunrise, was flying a Piper Navajo Chieftain from Freeport, Bahamas, to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport when the plane began experiencing mechanical trouble, Coast Guard and Federal Aviation Administration officials said. Murphy radioed air traffic controllers in Fort Lauderdale around 5:40 p.m. to tell them about the problem and that he was going to crash-land the plane.


On Feb. 20, 2003, Murphy suffered head and neck injuries when a plane he was flying to Miami International Airport from Havana crashed into the Gulf of Mexico about 10 miles southwest of Marathon. Murphy’s plane for that flight, a twin-engine Cessna 402B, also experienced mechanical problems.

Murphy, a Cuban-born U.S. citizen, was returning from a charter flight to Cuba during that trip. Officials did not know why Murphy was returning from the Bahamas on Thursday.

Murphy’s brother, Miguel Murphy, of Lauderdale Lakes, said Denis Murphy has a wife and daughter, and has been a pilot “for a long time.”

Miguel Murphy said he often tries to get his brother to quit flying.

“It’s not a very safe profession to do,” Miguel Murphy said. “But he says when crashes happen, that mostly it’s not the pilot’s fault, that it’s the airplane.” [Sun-Sentinel]

Maybe it was the Bermuda Triangle…