A pilot in trouble saw the "luscious green grass" of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company racetrack, and bailed out in the center of the Florida oval on Sunday morning. Neither the pilot, Leroy Morse, nor his passenger were injured, according to the Ocala Star-Banner
Morse and Al Koehnlein were traveling from Orlando to Ocala International Airport when they encountered engine trouble. Morse said he initially considered Interstate I-75 as a possible landing location, then saw the racetrack which is located across the street from the Ocala airport. . A horse was exercising when the unscheduled landing took place, but thankfully was not startled by the descending 1976 Sundowner Beechcraft plane.
Morse, who has been a pilot for five years, makes weekly trips between Ocala and Orlando. The crash broke the front wheel, damaged the left side of the front propeller of the plane. A Federal Aviation Administration official told the Star-Banner
he found a crack in the plane's engine block and would be filing a report. The plane was to be removed before any horses would be allowed on the track.