PALM CITY, Fla. (WSVN) – After having some trouble following takeoff, a small plane plunged from the sky and crashed, engulfing in flames and claiming the life of the pilot onboard.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said the plane crashed while departing from the Naked Lady Ranch Airport, where people nearby risked their lives as they tried to save him.
Some of the sounds were heard by neighbors just seconds before the plane touched down.
“Out of nowhere we just started hearing some pops. It sounded like a plane coming down,” said Eduardo Casillas, who burned his arm in an attempt to save the pilot.
Michael Terranova was inside his home. “‘Put put put,’ like that. So he was having problems with his engine,” he said. “Everything’s basically gone.”
Terranova was one of six good Samaritans who sprang into action with fire extinguishers to put out the fire and try and get the trapped pilot out of the burning plane.
Eduardo Casillas and his grandfather said the flames just kept billowing. “It turned into a pretty good size fire in 10-12 seconds,” said the grandfather.
Casillas said they could feel the heat from 25 to 30 feet away.
“We can’t even recognize the N-number on the back of the aircraft, said John Budensiek, Chief Deputy of Martin County Sheriff’s Office. “It’s that severely damaged.”
The pilot was a man in his 70’s and he was the only person onboard the plane.
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