Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Plane hits two cars in Wesley Chapel; no one injured

Ben Oliver of Pasco County Fire Rescue stands in front of a small plane that crashed into two parked cars while attempting to take off from Tampa North Aero Park in Wesley Chapel on Thursday. No one was injured in the crash, officials said.

EDWARD LINSMIER | Times

Ben Oliver of Pasco County Fire Rescue stands in front of a small plane that crashed into two parked cars while attempting to take off from Tampa North Aero Park in Wesley Chapel on Thursday. No one was injured in the crash, officials said.

WESLEY CHAPEL — A single-engine Cessna skidded off the runway Thursday at Tampa North Aero Park and slammed into two cars parked at an adjacent medical manufacturing company.

No one was injured, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office said.

A 60-year-old student pilot was taking off from the small airport off old County Road 54, west of Interstate 75, when he ran into trouble and tried to land, the Sheriff's Office said. He lost control of the aircraft and struck the two cars, which belong to employees who were inside Rochester Electro-Medical Inc. at 4212 Cypress Gulch Drive.

Authorities said it was the second solo flight for the pilot, whose name had not been released. The Federal Aviation Administration is handling the investigation.

Alayne Berkins, president and owner of Rochester, was standing by a metal door about 2 p.m. when she heard a boom.

"I thought it was a big bird hitting the door,'' she said. "I went 'Aha!' and I jumped. My husband went to the door. He said, 'There's a plane on two cars out here!' "

Demetrius Tolbert, 38, of Tampa works as a solderer for Rochester. He stood staring at his wrecked white 2005 Chevy Impala.

"I want to see what GEICO is going to say about this one," Tolbert said.

Shirley Manzella, 44, of Port Richey owns the other car damaged in the crash, a bright blue 2007 Chevy Aveo. As she talked to her insurance company on a cell phone outside the building, she said, "A plane landed on my car. … If you guys hurry up, you can see it."

Dave Allen, acting battalion chief for Pasco Fire Rescue, said the pilot was not injured.

"He climbed out of the plane on his own," Allen said, "a little rattled.''

Allen said the plane had 35 gallons of fuel and that the fuel was contained.

While surveying the damage, Tolbert said that employees at the medical device manufacturer often eat lunch outside to watch the planes on the nearby runway. Now he might think twice about that.

"I never thought a plane could run off the runway and crash into a car," he said.

Plane hits two cars in Wesley Chapel; no one injured 10/28/10 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 8:53pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Shooting sends man to hospital in St. Pete

    Crime

    ST. PETERSBURG — Police were investigating a shooting that occurred around 4:40 p.m. on Tuesday and sent a man to the hospital.

  2. Police: Man tries to lure child with puppy in Polk County

    Crime

    Times staff

    HAINES CITY — A man was arrested Sunday after he tried to entice a young girl into his camper to view a puppy, according to police.

    Dale Collins, 63, faces a charge of luring or enticing a child under the age of 12. [Photo courtesy of the Polk County Sheriff's Office]
  3. Editorial: Coming together to reduce car thefts

    Editorials

    The simple, knee-jerk response to the juvenile car theft epidemic in Pinellas County would be to crack down on offenders with an increased police presence and stiffer sentences. Thankfully, local community leaders did not stop there. As detailed in a recent Tampa Bay Times follow-up to its 
As detailed in a recent Tampa Bay Times follow-up to its "Hot Wheels" investigation into youth car thefts, a variety of ideas from multiple directions increases the odds of actually solving the cause and not just treating the symptoms.

  4. Editorial: Floridians' health care now at risk in Washington

    Editorials

    The health care for millions of Floridians is now at risk. The U.S. Senate's dramatic vote Tuesday to begin debate on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act with no idea what will happen is a dangerous gamble with American lives and the national economy. Barring an unexpected bipartisan compromise, a handful of …

    Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., dramatically returned to the Senate for the first time since his brain cancer was diagnosed and cast the key vote that enabled Vice President Mike Pence to break the 50-50 tie and allow the health care debate to proceed.
  5. Former Marine from Florida dies fighting for Kurdish militia

    ORLANDO — A former Marine who secretly traveled to Syria earlier this year to battle the Islamic State was killed while fighting for a Kurdish militia, his father said Tuesday.

    David Taylor, with his father David Taylor Sr., was killed earlier this month in Syria while fighting for a Kurdish militia.