Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pilot dies in crash at Plant City air park

The pilot was found dead after this small aircraft went down Saturday morning at Blackwater Creek Flight Park, a small airport that caters to sport aircraft.

Bay News 9

The pilot was found dead after this small aircraft went down Saturday morning at Blackwater Creek Flight Park, a small airport that caters to sport aircraft.

PLANT CITY — A pilot was found dead after a light aircraft crashed at Blackwater Creek Flightpark in Plant City, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said late Saturday morning.

The pilot, William Lee Phillips of Lakeland, was alone in the aircraft when it crashed at about 11:30 a.m., according to sheriff's spokesman Larry McKinnon.

Phillips, 79, circled the grass runway three times before making a hard landing that slammed the bottom of the aircraft into the ground, McKinnon said. The aircraft, a Challenger ultralight that was based at Blackwater, skidded about 50 feet along the runway and Phillips was found dead inside, according to McKinnon.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash, said spokesman Nicholas Worrell.

Phillips, who would have turned 80 on Monday, hadn't flown in a while, McKinnon said.

Clyde O'Donnell, who knew Phillips and helps with operations at Blackwater, declined to elaborate on the accident Saturday afternoon.

"An airplane impacted the ground and a pilot lost his life today," O'Donnell said.

Family members could not be reached.

Blackwater Creek, an ultralight and light-sport aircraft facility with a 2,300-foot runway, is on a 45-acre farm along Paul Buchman Highway, 7 miles north of Interstate 4, according to its website.

Pilot dies in crash at Plant City air park 06/09/12 [Last modified: Saturday, June 9, 2012 11:20pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Florida Transportation Commission nominates three finalists for DOT secretary

    Blogs

    The short-list for Florida’s next transportation secretary is out, and the three nominees include current and former department employees along with a member of the Florida Transportation Commission, the board which selects the nominees.

  2. Greek ex-prime minister hurt as letter bomb explodes in car

    World

    ATHENS, Greece — Former Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos was injured after a letter bomb exploded inside his car in a central Athens on Thursday in an attack that also left two Bank of Greece employees wounded.

    Greek police experts search for evidence at the scene of an explosion site in Athens, on Thursday. An explosion inside a car in Greece's capital wounded former Prime Minister Lucas Papademos on Thursday, police said. His injuries were not considered to be life-threatening. [AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis]
  3. Rick Scott signs package of tax breaks

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott signed a tax-cut package Thursday that — while vastly scaled back from what he wanted — eliminates the so-called "tampon tax" and offers tax holidays for back-to-school shoppers and Floridians preparing for hurricane season.

    Florida Governor Rick Scott signed a tax cut package that will cost state coffers $91.6 million during the upcoming year. [Joe Raedle | Getty Images]
  4. Pentagon inquiry blames ISIS for civilian deaths in Mosul strike

    World

    WASHINGTON — A U.S. airstrike in March killed more than 100 Iraqi civilians by inadvertently setting off a large amount of explosives that Islamic State fighters had placed in a building in Mosul, according to a long-awaited military investigation made public on Thursday.

  5. Man who fired at Temple Terrace officer is shot in leg, police say

    Crime

    TEMPLE TERRACE — A man shot by a Temple Terrace Police officer has been released from the hospital and booked into jail on an attempted murder charge.

    Jordan Arthur Bowie, 24, of Tampa was arrested Wednesday and charged with attempted murder of a law enforcement after police say he shot at a Temple Terrace Police officer during a traffic stop. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]