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Ex-President José Figueres ‘saw life flash before his eyes’ in near airplane accident

Former President of Costa Rica José María Figueres Olsen(1994-1998) had a rough landing Wednesday at Tobías Bolaños International Airport outside San José.

Figueres said that he was returning to San José that afternoon after a meeting with members of the National Liberation Party, of which Figueres is the president, when there were complications during the landing, according to a statement on his Facebook page. Wednesday’s near accident was the ex-president’s fourth airplane-related mishap.

Details about the troubled landed were spotty. The flight took off from Nicoya and was coming in for a landing at the private airfield in San José. The landing gear was apparently not in position, daily La Nación reported. Channel 7 News reported that the plane overshot the runway. There were no reported injuries but the Red Cross was present at the airport. The Civil Aviation Authority did not respond to The Tico Times’ request for details.

Figueres, the son of the founder of modern Costa Rica, former President José Figueres Ferrer, was flying in a Piper PA-34-200T twin-engined plane with Col. Armando D’Ambrosio, and Mario Quirós Salazar, Figueres’ personal lawyer, according to La Nación, along with the two pilots.

“Upon landing we went through a difficult situation, one of those that makes us see our life pass before our eyes. Thankfully, everything turned out OK,” Figueres said.

In his Facebook post, Figueres thanked his guardian angel for “working overtime.”

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