October 19th, 2012|
October 19, 2012
Two pilots were killed immediately after takeoff Sunday at Winter Haven Municipal Airport in Florida, reports The Ledger. They were flying in an Airborne Windsport, which is classified as an experimental ultra-light aircraft.
A spokeswoman for the Florida Aviation Administration said that the plane “apparently touched down hard, bounced several times, and broke apart.”
“These accidents only take seconds to occur,” said a National Transportation Safety Board spokesman. “But it takes months to piece together exactly what happened.”
The 60-year-old female pilot from Zephyrhills died at the scene, and the 61-year-old male passenger from Lakeland was taken to Lakeland Regional Medical Center where he later died.
The man was a retired manager from Lakeland Electric, where he had worked for nearly 24 years. He had a passion for flying and had accumulated nearly 600 flight hours.
Having taught in the Pasco County school system for 36 years, the woman was a retired elementary and middle school educator.
“She was a low-hour pilot, about 90 hours,” a friend said. “She just started taking passengers. Up until three weeks ago she was only flying very locally.”
“They died having fun,” the woman’s brother wrote on Facebook. “They have taken their final flight.”
The cause of the accident is currently unknown.