Plane Part Falls Into Fla. Mall Parking Lot



A part fell from an airplane and landed in the parking lot of a South Florida mall on Friday morning.

The incident happened at the Miami International Mall in the 1400 block of Northwest 107th Avenue.


The 747 Atlas Air cargo plane was on its way from Santiago, Chile, to Miami when the part fell off. The part landed in the parking lot outside Dillard's.

"We thought it was a car accident or something, but when we saw it was a piece of plane, you have to come out and see it because it's scary," said mall employee Orville Rodriguez.

The piece of the plane was big enough to fill an entire parking space and likely would have seriously damaged a car, had one been parked where it landed.

No injuries were reported, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue officials said.

"It's scary to think that somebody could have been standing there or walking right by at the time. It's crazy," said mall employee Paul Kakos.

The plane landed safely at Miami International Airport. Investigators are working to determine how the part became loose.

The part is called an inboard flap canoe, and it is part of the wing.

Mechanics examined the exposed hydraulics under the wing, trying to determine how the cover fell off the plane. Doral police were asking the same thing when they arrived in the mall parking lot.

"I showed up and I saw this piece and I said, 'Uh-oh.' But the good news is that the airplane, it was a routine flight coming into Miami International. The airplane landed safely. There were no injuries on board, no property damage other than what you see here," said Doral Police Chief Ricardo Gomez.

FAA investigators arrived at the parking lot to take pictures and look over the dented piece of fiberglass. They eventually hauled it to a hangar, where they will reunite it with the aircraft and try to figure out how it broke free.

Atlas Air Inc. released the following statement.

"Atlas is grateful that no one was injured and is investigating the matter further. Atlas is also cooperating with the appropriate authorities in their review of this matter. Atlas takes this matter very seriously and will be conducting a thorough investigation."


Copyright 2010 by Post-Newsweek Stations. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed