Pilot, Passenger Survive After Plane Impacts Seawall Off
An Extra 300/L on approach to Tampa's Peter O. Knight airport
clipped the 50 foot mast of a sailboat in an adjacent shipping
channel Friday morning, and crashed just short of the runway.
The pilot, 48-year old Dan Greenwald, and his passenger,
19-year-old Mitch Kirby, were assisted from the wreckage and taken
to Tampa General Hospital for treatment of broken bones. Two people
aboard the sailboat were unharmed in the mishap.
Boat owner Edward Allen described the incident to Orlando's Fox
35 News: "I heard an airplane, and I could hear it decelerating,"
Allen said. "I looked up, but I got a great big pop, so I didn't
actually see the airplane.
"And the next thing I knew -- bang!
and crash! and the rigging started to come apart, sails coming down
and a roll of furling came down. I looked to my right just in time
to see the plane hit the seawall and flip over, and I'm just
thankful the guys got out okay," Allen said.
Captain Bill Wade of Tampa Fire Rescue said, "Had the aircraft
hit low on the seawall, it would have smashed straight into the
seawall. [It] probably would have made the incident a fatality.
Fortunately, the aircraft hit higher on the seawall, causing it to
just flip over."
Bystander Michael Beason, waiting for his kids to return from a
flight in another plane, ran out to help. "The two guys had gotten
out, somebody had lifted the plane up so they could get out, and
they were pretty good one guy had a hurt hand, the other guy had a
busted leg," Beason said.
The 2005 Extra 300/L (similar to type shown at right) is
registered to Tampa Aircraft Holdings, Inc., according to Federal
Aviation Administration records. The National Transportation Safety
Board and the FAA are investigating.