CLEARWATER — A single-engine plane plunged into Old Tampa Bay as the pilot struggled to land at St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport last year.
Pilot Joseph P. Bellamy died in the Jan. 12, 2008, crash along with his parents, Gordon and Susan Bellamy.
The National Transportation Safety Board has determined the plane was overloaded on takeoff, then stalled while trying to land.
The Cessna stalled after a sharp turn, the NTSB report said, then hit the water about 800 feet short of the runway.
"The pilot's failure to maintain airspeed while maneuvering for approach to land" was the probable cause of the accident, the NTSB report said. A contributing factor was the plane's weight.
The report says the Cessna weighed at least 24 pounds more than it was designed for.
Jamal Thalji can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8472.