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. Storm routs Cleveland

    Storm

    TAMPA — Alvin Ray Jackson intercepted two passes, returning one for a touchdown, and recovered two fumbles as the Storm routed Cleveland 57-27 Saturday night in its home regular-season finale at Amalie Arena.

  2. Miscue sends Rays to another stinging loss to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays gave away DJ Kitty onesies Saturday night. Then they gave away the game.

    Rays centerfielder Mallex Smith misses a drive hit by Adrian Beltre with two outs in the sixth, allowing the tying runs to score. Beltre puts Texas ahead 4-3 when he scores after two wild pitches.
  3. Rowdies shut out Charleston

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rowdies know a thing or two about stalemates, with five of their past 10 games ending in a draw.

    Rowdies in the first half during the game between Tampa Bay Rowdies and the Charleston Battery at Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Saturday, Jul 22, 2017.
  4. 13-year-old Janessa's father holds memorial service at Rogers Middle School

    Crime

    RIVERVIEW — About 100 people sat in the tile-floored multipurpose room Saturday at Rodgers Middle School where Janessa Shannon once sat as a student.

    A mourner embraces Nahshon Shannon after the memorial service for Nahshon’s daughter, Janessa, Saturday at Rodgers Middle School in Riverview.
  5. Trump: Aircraft carrier a symbol of America's might (w/video)

    Politics

    NORFOLK, Va. — With praise and a blessing for the military, President Donald Trump helped hand over the USS Gerald R. Ford to the Navy on Saturday and said the state-of-the-art aircraft carrier will send a "100,000-ton message to the world" about America's military might when it is ultimately deployed.

    President Donald Trump commissions the USS Gerald R. Ford on Saturday in Norfolk, Va.