ST. PETERSBURG — The small plane that crashed into Vinoy Park on Sept. 15 experienced a total loss of engine power as it flew over the city, according to a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board.
Pilot Grant Jordan, 57, and three passengers were on board: Aloysius Ryan, 52; Eamonn Harnell, 48; and an unidentified 17-year-old girl. All are residents of Ireland, and both Jordan and Ryan were taken to a hospital with serious injuries but have since been released.
According to the NTSB report, Jordan is a foreign-rated pilot, and one other person on board was also rated to fly. They had not filed a flight plan and were maneuvering for landing at Albert Whitted Airport when the Piper Cherokee went down.
The plane was registered to Advanced Technology Training, LLC., of Gretna, La. It just missed hitting the high rise condo towers near St. Petersburg's waterfront.
NTSB investigators reported that the plane hit trees before landing on its nose and right landing gear. The fuel tanks were intact, but the left wing had broken off.
The report does not indicate what caused the engine failure, and it is subject to change before crash investigators file a final analysis of the incident.