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Airplane door falls onto golf course

By Aaron Cooper, CNN
updated 5:41 PM EDT, Thu May 24, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • It's not clear why a private jet bound for Pompano Beach lost its main cabin door
  • The plane landed safely at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
  • The golf course where the door landed was closed at the time

Washington (CNN) -- The FAA is investigating what caused a private jet to lose its door as it flew over a Florida golf course.

The Canadair CL600 jet was traveling from Opa-Locka to Pompano Beach, Florida, on Wednesday when it was diverted and landed safely at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, according to FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen.

"An airport vehicle met the aircraft as it exited the runway and escorted it to Bombardier Aviation (a maintenance facility on the airport) where it was discovered that the main cabin door was missing," she said.

Air traffic control audio recorded by LiveATC.net captured controllers ordering takeoffs on runway 9L so it could be inspected.

"Before your next arrival or departure, I need to do a runway inspection. I just had an aircraft (that) lost a door. Want to make sure nothing is on the runway," a ramp controller radioed the control tower.

The door, with retractable boarding stairs attached, crashed through trees, bouncing onto a golf course near Hallandale Beach, according to CNN affiliate WSVN, which shot video of it being removed by a tow truck.

The golf course was closed at the time.

The aircraft was assigned the unique identifying number, often called a tail number, N207JB. The same number had been assigned to another aircraft before it crashed in 2009, according to National Transportation Safety Board records.

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