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Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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'I was shocked I survived,' pilot says
Published September 30, 2007
FORT LAUDERDALE - The pilot of a small cargo plane that crashed along Interstate 95 shortly after taking off said he is surprised he survived the impact.
Robert "Bob" Robertson crashed the twin-engine Beechcraft he was flying shortly after leaving Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport on Sept. 21. Robertson, 34, was the only person aboard the aircraft and no one was injured on the ground.
"I knew that I was going to die. The idea at that point is to try not to take a lot of people with you," Robertson said.
Robertson said he decided to try to land on a grassy piece of land near I-95 after an engine shut down.
"I was shocked I survived," he said. "There was nothing left of the airplane, nothing except me and the seat. Everything else was debris. There was no pain, but I realized my injuries were severe."
Doctors have predicted he will make a full recovery, Robertson said.
Robertson said he has kept busy, despite casts on his left leg and arm. His girlfriend accepted his marriage proposal Thursday.
Robertson, a transport pilot for Monarch Air group, was en route to the Bahamas when the crash occurred. He had been in the air for just a few minutes when things went wrong.