A pilot was killed when a home-made, single-engine plane crashed into a woodland area near the Florida-Georgia border, authorities said.
According to the Nassau County Mayor’s Office and the Federal Aviation Administration, the plane went down around 2:30 PM. In the woods off Trinity Lane near County Road 121, North Hilliard. The Federal Aviation Administration said the pilot was the only person on board the aircraft that had been registered outside the Palm Coast.
Press release sent by the Florida Highway Patrol at 11 p.m. The pilot is stated to be 74 years old and lives on the Palm Coast. It was not recognized.
“It’s kind of shocking that something like this could happen right next to your house,” said neighbor Ruby Sapp.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the aircraft was a single-engine RV-8. It is a low wing plane that comes in a kit, and anyone who buys this kit can build their plane at home.
Aviation expert Ed Booth said: “The Van Group aircraft series has an impressive record, but I have to say that the overall safety record for pilot or home built buildings is not as good as the certified aircraft registry.”
According to the Weather Authority, sustained wind speeds around the time of the accident were 20-25 miles per hour with winds up to 35 miles per hour. While it is too early to say the wind played a factor in the accident, Booth said this cannot be ruled out.
“It’s really the storm factor that has the most impact on a small plane. It makes control difficult. It might cause structural failure,” Booth said.
A woman who told News4Jax that she had seen the plane just before it crashed said it looked like the engine was off while the plane was flying.
“He tells me that investigators will want to look at the engine and determine if it has experienced any kind of catastrophic failure such as a broken valve,” Booth said.
The witness said the plane caught fire when it drove to the crash site. If the plane caught fire after the crash, that is a sign that the fuel has not run out, Booth said.
He also said changing unexpected weather patterns across northeastern Florida had increased the risk of smaller planes flying.
Neighbors said that the small planes are a common sight in the area as there is an airport about five miles away.
“I’ve seen them hold back sometimes,” said Lender Solomon.
The Federal Aviation Administration said it will investigate the National Transportation Safety Board into Monday’s accident.
NTSB has tweeted that it is not traveling to the scene at this time.
Depending on the extent of the damage to the plane, it could take months, if not years, before investigators determine the cause of the crash.