MIRAMAR, FLA. (WSVN) - A flight school student has died and an instructor was seriously injured after a small plane crashed in Miramar during a training flight.
7SkyForce HD hovered over the scene along South Hiatus Road and Pembroke Road just after 9:10 a.m., Tuesday.
According to Miramar Police, the plane experienced mechanical issues, and the pilot tried to make it back to North Perry Airport in Pembroke Pines.
In the radio conversation between the student pilot, later identified as 25-year-old Mark Daniel Scott, and the control tower, it appears they called in an emergency and fire trucks were going to be sent to the area to be on standby.
“Are you going to be able to make it back to the field? Looks like Pembroke Boulevard is just off to your right and also Hollywood or Pines … safe souls on board?” the air traffic controller said to the aircraft.
Scott and his instructor tried to land on Pembroke Road but ended up clipping a power line and crashing near a Chase bank.
A dashcam video from witness Alan Birmaher captured the moments before the plane crashed.
“I kind of caught a glimpse of this plane coming down on the left side pretty low,” he said. “It was clearly too low, I mean, as the plane crossed in front, I could see the pilot’s face, like that’s how low he was, and then he hit that power line. I guess he was trying to land on the street, but it pulled him right, I guess, and as soon as a couple seconds later, I couldn’t see it from where I was, but I saw spark and then flames and smoke after that.”
Miramar Fire Rescue crews could be seen putting out hot spots on the crashed plane near a charred Chase sign.
“We instantly heard all the sirens, heard the helicopters above,” witness Lesley Mancuso said. “They came instantly.”
“All of the sudden, we saw a wall of fire and black smoke,” witness Michele That said.
The plane is believed to be from Wayman Aviation Academy, a flight school based out of North Perry Airport.
Eddy Luy, the vice president of the flight school, confirmed Scott had died in the crash.
“It was an advanced student, a senior student, and an experienced instructor,” said Luy. “The instructor is at the hospital now recovering from the accident, and we know at this time the student has passed away. I think they did as well as they could in the situation they were in.”
Tuesday’s crash was not the first time in recent years the school has had problems with aircraft.
In March 2018 and September 2019, at least two planes experienced mechanical problems during landing. Last November, a student was injured when the plane he was flying in crashed at North Perry Airport.
Firefighters could be seen covering an area of the crashed plane with a yellow tarp.
The instructor is at Memorial Regional Hospital being treated for serious injuries but is said to be awake and alert. The identity of the instructor has not yet been released.
“It’s obviously very sad,” said Birmaher. “You know with everything going on right now, something like this to add to the mix is just a scary thing, and obviously I was shaken myself, and I’m still feeling a little shaken, I guess.”
The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration will be investigating.
Landscaper Cedric Jackson and his crew were sitting in a truck feet from where the aircraft would eventually come to a stop.
“Me and my crew, just two other guys, we were sitting here looking at our phones, and we see the plane come down, heard a snap,” he said. “The wing hit the light pole over there. The plane literally hit the ground right in front us. That tree actually saved me and my crew’s life. It really did.”
Jackson said he and his crew are doing OK physically, but they are shaken up after witnessing the crash.
Meanwhile, FPL crews are currently on scene working to fix the power lines.
“We have seen the video where it appears the plane did hit one of the power lines,” Miramar Police spokesperson Tania Rues said. “FPL has responded and shut off the power.”
“We actually thought that they were — because they were supposed to be doing some work in our developments — we actually thought that they had hit something and caused our electricity to go out,” said one resident in the area. “When we actually saw the smoke, it terrified us.”
7News cameras captured pieces of the plane’s tires and wing on the back of a vehicle, as crews removed the plane from the scene.
A burned sign to the Chase Bank near the scene was also caught on video.
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