An aviation accident near Leesburg has claimed the life of one man and critically injured a woman. The accident occurred around 2:35 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Witnesses told accident investigators that they heard an aircraft’s engine cutting in and out in the moments before the crash but assumed that the airplane making the noise was one of many stunt aircraft that fly out of nearby Leesburg Airport. A spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said the agency will be investigating the crash as soon as they can get an accident investigation team to the crash site.
Lake County Fire-Rescue Assistant Chief of Administration Jack Fillman said that the plane was experiencing some type of mechanical malfunction and that the pilot was trying to land the aircraft in a pasture when the accident occurred.
"As it was coming down, it struck the top of one tree and then struck the bottom of another tree," Fillman said. The accident occurred on Dennis Road, near Treasure Island Avenue.
C.C. Caldwell was one of many people who heard the engine of the plane cutting in and out before the crash but assumed it was a stunt pilot practicing.
"I heard when the engine cut off, and I heard it crash. It was quick — bam!" said Caldwell.
Early reports claim that the aircraft was a twin-engine Piper Navajo. Brian Sapp, who owns Sunair Aviation at the Leesburg airport, suspected the plane ran out of fuel since it didn’t burst into flames after it crashed.
"It’s a shame. Someone was stretching out the fuel…There’s no other logical explanation," he said. "My heart goes out to the family, especially on Christmas."
The NTSB will determine whether the aircraft ran out of gas or something else caused the engines to lose power. Accident investigators with the agency examine the wreckage of all aviation accidents to determine the cause and whether or not negligence was a contributing factor. If you have been injured in a plane crash caused by negligence and would like to speak with an Orlando aviation accident attorney, call James O. Cunningham today at 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587). Mr. Cunningham is a highly skilled and experienced Orlando personal injury lawyer who has helped injured people receive the fair and just compensation they deserve since 1977. Call today to get his skills and experience on your side!
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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