• MLWA 7

1 dead after small plane crashes into Fort Lauderdale condo building



— Fort Lauderdale FL


One person is dead after a small banner plane crashed into a condominium building Friday in Fort Lauderdale.

The crash occurred shortly before noon at 3015 N. Ocean Blvd.

Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Stephen Gollan said the plane crashed into the side of the building, between the 16th and 17th floors, and then landed on the pool deck below.


"I saw the plane going very, very close to the window. So I stepped outside and I heard a huge bang and I saw the plane already had gone down," said Olga Weaver, who lives in a building next door to where the crash occurred.




"I was in back of my building putting water in my trees when I saw the low plane right close to my building. I go, 'Oh my, he is going to hit me!" another nearby resident, Mike Vilio, said.

Gollan said the building was occupied at the time, but no residents were injured. He said the building was evacuated as a precaution. A yellow tarp could be seen covering the body next to the downed plane. There appeared to be a hole in the side of the building where the plane made impact.


Authorities said about 20 construction workers were on the roof of the building at the time of the crash, but none of them were injured.


Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said the Piper PA-25 took off from North Perry Airport in Pembroke Pines.

The plane is registered to Aerial Banners Inc., which is based at North Perry Airport. Employees at the company locked the front door to their building after the crash. A view from Sky 10 showed the banner that the plane had been carrying on the ground in a nearby neighborhood.


Ken Criswell, who is also a pilot, told Local 10 News he knew whoever was flying the plane couldn't pull the plane up because they were too low and going too slow.

"At that slow speed, there was just no control of it," he said. "(The engine) was running but he just had no power and couldn't climb."

Police were asking drivers to avoid the area.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.


Breaking story by (WPLG LOCAL 10 NEWS MIAMI FLORIDA) and WSVN Miami Florida