A 74-year-old man died this afternoon after his single-engine airplane slammed into some trees at the New Smyrna Beach Municipal Airport.
Anchorage, Alaska, resident Bruce Smith had just taken off in the Temco GC-1B Swift about 1 p.m. when he radioed the control tower he was having problems with the aircraft.
The accident happened about 12:47 today and according to several people I know who saw it the pilot was alive but very serious when medivac flown out. Very sad situation. Witnesses claim the pilot attempted to return to the airport in a steep turn and the aircraft stalled it hit hard on the runway and the gear collapsed then continued into the trees at the side of the middle runway where it was obliterated.
Very sad. Airport restricted to essential operations/IFR only. No VFR or student flights until further notice. The airport is used frequently by nearby Embry Riddle students, Epic Aviation and other flight schools. It has scheduled airline service with VQ to MLB DAB MHH and TCB