POMPANO BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) — Authorities have released the frantic 911 calls alerting them about the small plane that plummeted into a Pompano Beach neighborhood and burst into flames, Monday afternoon.
As crews raced to the scene, concerned residents described the fiery crash on the 900 block of Northeast 26th Avenue, just west of the Intracoastal Waterway, at around 3 p.m. "There’s been a horrible explosion right across the street from my home," said a resident.
When the 911 dispatcher asked the resident to describe what he saw, he replied, "It looks like something came out of the air and hit the ground. Maybe it’s an airplane or something … I am sitting here looking out my window, and I don’t have a clear view, but something came out of the air, hit the ground and just blew up."
One caller described a nosedive into the ground. "We saw a plane going over our building on North Riverside Drive, and he was turning over and all of a sudden, it just went down, and we had a big flash of fire, and now there’s black smoke coming up," said the caller.
Another caller was certain no one inside the plane survived. "Ma’am, there’s no way that the pilot survived that crash the way it came down. There’s no way," said the caller.
Officials said the Hawker Beechcraft 76 appeared to have crashed into the corner of a home’s roof, bounced off another residence and then crashed near the pool of another home. The pilot and two students on board sustained burns over 30 to 40 of their bodies when the aircraft went down, just minutes after taking off from Runway 10 at the Pompano Beach Airpark, located about a mile away.
One of the three homes hit caught fire.
The pilot was identified as 40-year-old Geoffrey White. The student pilots, Fernando Diaz and Sylvia Mena, are both in their 20s. All three victims are being treated at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Burn Center located at Ryder Trauma Center.
The plane’s wreckage was removed Tuesday. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.