It’s been one year since an experimental plane crash in Marion County that killed the pilot. On March 6, 2009, the crash occurred in an RV park just off CR 25 in Ocala, according to an Orlando Sentinel article. An 80-year-old pilot was flying the experimental, amateur-built Stewart S51 plane, which was a 2/3 scale replica of a p-51 Mustang fighter. The National Transportation Safety Board report says that the pilot told his wife the test flight was “beautiful.” Witnesses reported they heard the engine sputtering before the plane crashed between two unoccupied RVs and then burst into flames. Our hearts go out to the wife of this adventurous man who lived life to the fullest.
The nine-page NTSB report does not indicate an actual cause of the crash. It includes four pages of flight history, personal information, weather reports, and notes from several witnesses who heard the engine sputter. The man was in the air for 0.3 hours. He was certified with a multi-engine rating and was a certified flight instructor and had nearly 14,000 hours of flight experience. He was the third owner of the experimental plane. The previous two owners never finished assembling the aircraft. The pilot was described as meticulous. He had purchased the airplane six years before the crash.
Plane accidents in Florida and throughout the nation are often devastating, leaving no survivors. If a person makes it through an aviation crash, injuries sustained are often catastrophic and present life-altering consequences for an injury victim and his or her family to cope with.