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Plant City Courier

One dead in plane crash at Plant City airport

TBO.com
Published:   |   Updated: March 18, 2013 at 05:13 PM

On a pilot's third attempt to land on the grass runway at Blackwater Creek Airport in Plant City this morning, his single-seat Challenger aircraft landed hard on the belly of its fuselage, then skidded 50 yards before stopping.

Paramedics found the pilot dead. He still was strapped in his seat.

The Federal Aviation Authority responded to the scene, 9002 Paul Buchman Highway, following the 11:30 a.m. crash. The FAA will try to determine what caused the crash.

A death investigation is ongoing, and the process of notifying the pilot's relatives is underway, Hillsborough County deputies said.

The plane was stored with about a dozen other aircraft at the airport, deputies said. The crashed plane's ownership "is still being positively determined," a Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office release states.

This is the second time in a few days that a plane has crashed in the Tampa area. A Kansas family of six died Thursday in a Lake Wales crash.

In that crash, Rob Bramlage radioed he had an emergency shortly before the single-engine turboprop plane broke into pieces and went down in Tiger Creek Preserve. The plane, a 2006 Pilatus PC-12/47, was at an estimated altitude of 21,500 feet when it began having problems, a National Transportation Safety Board official said.

The bodies of everyone on that plane have been recovered, although positive identifications haven't been made on all family members, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.

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