Winter Haven Plane Crash Kills Pilot, Dog Survives
A single-engine plane crash in Winter Haven has killed the pilot but spared his passenger and dog. A 45-year-old male flight instructor of Brooksville crashed shortly after taking off from the Winter Haven Airport. He landed on the side of Highway 92.
When rescuers arrived, they found the man lying on the ground and paramedics were unable to revive him. His passenger, a student, was trapped inside the plane, but rescuers extricated him and took him to Lakeland Regional Medical Center where he is in critical condition. The instructor’s dog, a white terrier named Zulu, survived and was found wandering around the accident site.
Our condolences go out to the family of this pilot family for their tragic loss and to the family of the injured passenger. We will pray that he recovers from his injuries.
Witnesses say the small plane, a 1974 Beech C23, appeared to lose power and crashed into a tree about a mile from the airport. The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will both conduct an investigation. The pilot and owner of the plane, who was not onboard, had been working on establishing a charity for underprivileged youth.
Aviation accidents in Florida and throughout the United States occur far too frequently. It is important for pilots to receive proper training before taking flight, especially with others onboard. Plane manufacturers also have an important reasonability of ensuring that components of an aircraft are accurately designed and created.