NTSB Investigating Homestead Crash
HOMESTEAD (CBS4) – Two people were killed when a small plane crashed near Homestead on Saturday.
According to a FAA spokesperson, the single engine fixed wing aircraft known as an ultra light plane crashed under unknown circumstances at a private airstrip near Homestead just after 10:30 a.m.
The man and woman who died inside the plane were members of a flying club that frequently met there to fly for pleasure.
The pilot’s best friend said he’s puzzled by the tragedy and told CBS 4 News the pilot had been flying for at least 30 years.
“He was a professional in every sense of the word,” said Mike Bigelow. “I just can’t imagine how this happened. It’s a tragedy and I just want everybody to know that he was a great human being and a great pilot and we’ve lost someone today that we shouldn’t have.”
National Transportation Safety Board investigators spent the afternoon talking to witnesses and trying to figure out what went wrong.
“Some saw it flying straight ahead. Some saw it spinning in a right turn,” said Jose Obregon, an air safety investigator for the NTSB.
Members of the flight club said it was a windy day. NTSB officials said at this point they don’t know what caused the crash. It could be a week or even a year before they determine that fact.
It was an accident that sent neighbor Lucrecia Arndack running outside of her home.
“I just heard a big bang and it almost sounded like something had hit my wall,” said Arndack.
Nearby she said she saw members of the flight club tending to the wreckage.
“They were yelling ‘Take him out of the plane’ because there was fuel and they were afraid that it might catch fire,” she remembered.
In the end when they pulled the pair out of the plane it was too late. Both were pronounced dead on the scene.
Police have not released the names of the pilot or his passenger.