Pilot dies in plane crash near Spruce Creek Fly-in
PORT ORANGE, FL -- Federal aviation and transportation officials late Sunday were investigating a twin-engine plane crash that killed a pilot shortly after takeoff from Spruce Creek Fly-In, a Volusia County sheriff's spokesman said.
Only one person was in the plane, Frederic S. Gray Jr., 67, and he apparently died on impact, sheriff's spokesman Brandon Haught and a witness said. Haught said witnesses told deputies the plane took off about 3:25 p.m. "What happened was the plane had taken off and did a hard bank. It somehow flipped over upside down and did a hard nosedive and crashed into the ground," Haught said.
No one on the ground was injured in the crash, which occurred in a field near Clubhouse Drive and Hawk's Nest Drive, Haught said. The plane was a twin-engine Beech Baron C-55, Haught said. The plane's registered owner is Northwest Jersey Airways Inc., which carries Gray's address at the Spruce Creek Fly-In community, according to the Federal Aviation Authority.
Haught said officials with the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration were on their way to the scene Sunday evening. A man working the security house at the entrance to the Spruce Creek Fly-In community said he got to the scene right after the crash and tried to help the pilot, but there was nothing he could do. He declined to give more information.
Condolences to family and friends.