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Pilot dead after plane crashes into pasture in New Smyrna Beach

3:53 PM, Feb 13, 2013   |    comments
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NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. -- Officials in New Smyrna Beach said a plane crashed into a pasture Wednesday.

The crash happened off Tumblin Drive less than a mile west of the airport.

Fire Rescue confirmed that the pilot of the twin-engine Cessna 337 died. No one else was on board the plane.

"The engine sounded normal," said witness Rich Chapman. "He never cut back on the engine. He sounded wide open. I jumped the fence, went over and found the body. He was deceased."

The pilot reported a mayday before the plane crashed and broke apart, authorities said.

The plane had taken off from the airport when it went down a short time later near the city's sports complex.

"The plane was coming over our backyard here and the plane was sideways through the trees," said witness Pat Chapman. "It clipped the top of this tree, went over the power line and hit the top of that big rotten pine over there and just disintegrated. It was like it was made of balsa wood when it hit the ground."

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will be called in to investigate the cause of the crash.


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