The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reported three people were killed after a small plane crashed into a mobile home Thursday evening in Clearwater, Florida.
According to the agency, the pilot took off from Vero Beach Regional Airport (KVRB) in a single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza V35 before reporting an engine failure and crashing into the Bayside Waters mobile home park just a few miles from St. Pete Clearwater International Airport (KPIE). The pilot and two others on the ground were killed in the accident.
Aviation Safety Network reported ATC transcript shows the pilot was on approach and trying to align with runway 34 at Clearwater Air Park (KCLW) before saying he wants to change frequencies to activate the runway lights. He then cancels the IFR clearance. Moments later, the pilot returns to the frequency and reports he was “losing engine”.
Following the crash, a structure fire engulfed four homes, according to a local FOX 13 report.Clearwater Fire Chief Scott Ehlers said emergency vehicles were quickly on the scene within seven minutes of the crash. “That’s critical because those aircraft response vehicles are designed to put large fires out and that was a critical component of maintaining this mobile home park,” Ehlers told FOX 13. “The crews did a phenomenal job of getting the fire knocked down very quickly.”
The FAA said the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will investigate the crash and provide any updates.