Two Aboard Small Banner Plane Injured During Crash At UF
Firefighters and fire rescue responded to an airplane crash in Flavet Field on campus at about 4 in the afternoon Saturday. This small aircraft bounced, flipped over and crashed into an unoccupied silver truck. The pilot and passenger were both hurt, as they had non-life threatening injuries however they were able to avoid hitting tailgaters, preventing a mass casualty incident.
Gator fans tailgating at Flavet Field for the football game against Arkansas, weren't expecting to also witness a plane crash. The single engine plane was pulling an advertisement banner prior to the Florida football game, when it started experiencing some problems.
Linda Stump chief for the University of Florida Police Department said, "It appears that he was looking for a clear space to put the plane down... He had enough room over the horizon. He probably did a pretty good job of alerting people to get out of the way."
According to UF Police, there were no fatalities. However the two people inside the plane were injured. The fans that were out here tailgating tell me they feel fortunate as things could have been worse.
Karen Guffey who saw the whole thing unveil said, "It was obvious that the pilot knew it was going to happen and so he should get a lot of credit because he avoided a lot. He went straight, must've still had some control of the plane... I am sure he lost it when he hit the car and the fence and flipped... But up until that point, it was obvious he was trying to avoid things."
The plane is owned by Beach Banners, out of Jacksonville. The pilot, Graham Hill and the passenger Ian Conrad are both from the Jacksonville area as well. A staff sergeant visiting for the gator game says the community came together to help amidst the chaos.
Jett Bryan a Staff Sergeant for the Air Force who was also there during the crash, said, “As many people as they could, rushed to the scene. There was no lack of people that wanted to help, so that is the most important thing I think. Because that's the biggest thing in the military when you hear gun fire, which way are you going to run? And everybody ran towards the sound, so I think that's a good thing."
The reason for the crash is not known yet. The Federal Aviation Administration has asked the Alachua County Sheriff's Office to gather information on the case and forward it to them, as opposed to investigating it themselves. The government shutdown may have something to do with that.
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