Tennessee pilot dies in Flagler County air show

Flagler County

Tenn. pilot dies in crash at air show

Federal aviation officials are investigating a crash that killed a 58-year-old Tennessee pilot during an air show Saturday in Flagler County, authorities said.

The pilot was identified as William "Wild Bill" Walker, who died when his Romanian-made Yak-52 propeller plane crashed about 4:30 p.m. while flying in formation with three other aircraft, officials said.

Walker, a real estate developer, had more than 30 years of experience in the air and was a member of the Red Thunder Air Show team out of Cookeville, Tenn., according to the organization's website.

County spokesman Carl Laundrie said the plane was flying in the "Wings Over Flagler" fly-in event being held over the weekend at the Flagler County Airport. The Yak-52 crashed about a half-mile from where spectators watched.

Walker was pronounced dead at the scene, Laundrie said. There were no passengers in the plane. No one else was injured.

MIAMI

Fire at fueling area hampers flights

A total of 80 flights from Miami International Airport were canceled Sunday because of a fire last week that is hampering the fueling of jets there.

Another 65 flights were delayed as planes were mainly being fueled via tankers servicing them on the tarmac.

But airport officials said there was good news on Sunday: Two powerful pumps installed overnight at the airport are now working and more pumps are on the way.

The airport's fuel farm, which suffered extensive damage in last week's fire, should be fully functional by midweek as eight more pumps are brought in to repair those damaged in Thursday's fire.

JACKSONVILLE

Boy badly hurt when mower runs over him

A 4-year-old Jacksonville boy is recovering after his father ran over him with a riding lawn mower.

Police said the accident happened Friday afternoon. A neighbor said one of the boy's feet was severed when the father apparently backed over him.

The child was airlifted to Shands Jacksonville. His injuries are not considered life-threatening.

No charges are expected to be filed in the incident.

JACKSONVILLE

'Cheez-It Bandit' gets eight years in prison

A man dubbed the "Cheez-It Bandit" has been sentenced to eight years in prison.

Twenty-seven-year-old Kristopher Chad Marlowe earned the moniker after a neighbor snapped a cellphone picture of him holding a box of the cheesy snack and wearing a Jacksonville Jaguars cap. Both were stolen during his burglaries and the photo eventually led to Marlowe's arrest.

He pleaded no contest to burglarizing two Jacksonville homes.

WEST PALM BEACH

Pythons survive drought, cold snaps

Pythons appear to be prospering in the Everglades despite winter freezes and a dearth of rain.

Twenty-six pythons have been captured so far this year and the South Florida Water Management District says it removed six pythons from the Everglades in the last week alone. The snakes were recovered in areas where they were not previously found.

The discovery of dead pythons after cold snaps last year had scientists speculating they pythons couldn't survive such extreme weather. But their persistence despite freezes and a drought this year has them reconsidering.

Burmese pythons are top predators known to prey on more than 20 native Florida species.

AVE MARIA

54-ton statue of Virgin Mary unveiled

A southwest Florida university has unveiled a 54-ton sculpture of the Virgin Mary.

Hundreds gathered at Ave Maria University for the unveiling Friday. It took the sculptor two years to carve the 35-foot-tall, 31-foot-wide sculpture.

He started with an 80-ton block of marble that came from the same quarry Michelangelo used for the Pieta and David sculptures.

The sculpture was blessed by Bishop Frank Dewane of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Venice.

Times wires, Orlando Sentinel, Miami Herald

Tennessee pilot dies in Flagler County air show 03/27/11 [Last modified: Sunday, March 27, 2011 11:34pm]

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