Russell Brothers, 74, of Burns, Tenn., told police that the plane’s two-way radio was not working and that he was forced to down the aircraft after his landing gear failed.
Mr. Brothers, who was flying from Miami to Dickson, Tenn., was convicted of drug smuggling 24 years ago.
A jury in Florida’s Broward County convicted Mr. Brothers of drug trafficking and racketeering in 1988 for his role in an international drug-smuggling ring that flew cocaine from Colombia into Miami, West Palm Beach and Pompano Beach. He piloted the planes that carried the cocaine.
Mr. Brothers could not immediately be reached for comment.
He told the Tennessean newspaper that he was not carrying drugs on the plane that he left at the closed airpark.
Nashville police said Mr. Brothers spoke with investigators by phone and told them that it was he who downed the 1961 Beechcraft twin-engine airplane at the closed airfield. He chose Cornelia Fort because he was familiar with the old airport.
Man hunting hogs says he accidentally shot girlfriend
BUNNELL — Authorities say a woman has been hospitalized after her boyfriend accidentally shot her in the legs during a hog-hunting trip in north Florida.
The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office said Steven Egan was in a tent with Lisa Simmons when he saw a hog nearby and shot at it Saturday evening. The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported Mr. Egan told authorities he thought he hit the hog and left the tent to search for it. The sheriff’s statement said he heard a noise, thought it was the hog and fired in that direction.
Deputies said Ms. Simmons was hit in both legs by a bullet and was in serious condition after surgery. Mr. Egan told authorities he didn’t know Ms. Simmons had left the tent and was in the woods.
Both are 52.
• From wire dispatches and staff reports