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Plane landing in Florida strikes, kills 11-foot alligator

By Ben Hooper

June 7 (UPI) -- An alligator was killed at a Florida airport when it reportedly attempted to strike the wing of a landing plane.

Pilot Brad Pierce posted a photo to Facebook on Tuesday, showing the felled alligator on the tarmac at Orlando Executive Airport, where he said another pilot's plane collided with the reptile.

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Pierce wrote:

"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!"

The pilot of the plane confirmed to WFTV his aircraft killed the gator in the collision, but he declined to provide details, citing an ongoing Federal Aviation Administration investigation.

Airplanes have struck alligators in Florida before.

Click Orlando reports the FAA has tallied four alligator-airplane collisions at Orlando International Airport since 1998, most recently on Sept. 12, 2012.

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