Iraq Air Force Cessna Diesel Lands On Florida Road

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A U.S. Air Force-owned Cessna 172 outfitted with a diesel engine and wearing Iraqi air force markings landed Thursday on a county road after suffering a power failure. Now for the explanation ... The air force published plans in October 2007 to send 12 Cessna 172s to Kirkuk where the aircraft would serve at the Iraqi Air Force flight training school. This particular aircraft had been taken to Miami to be fitted with the diesel and was then flown to a Tampa paint shop where it won its Iraqi markings, according to Tampa Bay Online. En route at about 4 p.m. from Tampa to Kendall-Tamiami -- where the Air Force would have inspected, dismantled and prepared the aircraft for shipment to Iraq -- the aircraft (and its Iraqi Air Force markings) then made its emergency landing on a rural central Florida highway ... County Road 731. The pilot, who reportedly was unharmed, works for a subcontractor of Cessna and was taken to Sebring Regional Airport, picked up by aircraft, and removed from the area. The aircraft remained to contribute to the developing local public stir as authorities pieced together the rest of the story.