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Cessna crashes in Tampa; two suffer minor injuries

TAMPA — A Connecticut couple survived a plane crash at Tampa Executive Airport on Wednesday afternoon.

Donald Davidson's single-engine Cessna 206 was trying to land at the airport, formerly known as Vandenberg Airport, at 2:24 p.m. when the front landing gear failed and caused the plane to slide over the runway, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

Davidson, 82, of New Haven, Conn. was the passenger as his wife, Margaret Davidson, 81, piloted the aircraft, said a Sheriff's Office news release.

The front wheel came off and the propeller hit the runway, causing the plane to nose-dive into the pavement, according to sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter.

The couple suffered minor cuts, she said.

Neither of the Davidsons was taken to a hospital, though they both had visible gashes and bruises to their faces and hands, and blood splattered all over their clothes.

The duo flew into town for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association event in town this week, said Mark Moberg, president of Leading Edge Aviation at Tampa Executive Airport.

Tampa Executive is expecting 150 to 200 arrivals over the next three days for the event, he said.

Crews towed the Cessna off the runway and into a nearby hangar. The crash did not cause any runway damage or disrupt other flight plans, Moberg said.

"It was a very minor crash," he said. "We don't know what caused it — if the tire already was flat or if it popped. Investigators will determine that."

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

Staff writer Rebecca Catalanello contributed to this report.

Cessna crashes in Tampa; two suffer minor injuries 11/04/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 4, 2009 10:46pm]

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