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Mon, Apr 16, 2007

Fatal Accident Mars Beginning Of Lakeland Fly-In

Small Plane Crashes On Approach To Runway

ANN REALTIME UPDATE 04.16.07 2215 EDT: Aero-News has learned two victims perished in Monday's crash of a plane, tentatively identified as a homebuilt Wheeler Express (file photo of type, right), less than one mile from the approach end to Runway 27-Left at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport

Authorities tell Bay News 9 the plane's pilot was Terrence Albert Sack of Dublin, OH. The other victim was Roger Caldwell of Blacklick, OH.

FAA records show a "Terrair Express" aircraft, built by a Terrence Sack in Dublin, registered in 2002.

Investigators have not identified a possible cause of the Monday afternoon accident.

Original Report

1710 EDT: At least one person was killed Monday afternoon, when a small aircraft went down less than one mile from the approach end to runway 27L at Lakeland-Linder Regional Airport.

Local news reports state the aircraft, type unknown, crashed in a vacant horse farm near Waring and Drane Field Roads just after 1400 EDT. The FAA could not confirm the plane was flying to the Sun 'N Fun Fly-In, although the accident site is located on the approach path to the airport's two west runways.

Black smoke could be seen from the show grounds. Planes arriving to Lakeland for the fly-in, which begins Tuesday, were waved off for approximately 35 minutes, as airspace over LAL was closed off for emergency crews.

Aircraft arriving to Sun 'N Fun typically approach the field from the north, and enter either a right downwind for Runway 27-Left/Right, or a left downwind for Runway 9L/R. Controllers -- brought in from larger FAA facilities to handle traffic during the show -- then stagger the aircraft to one of the two runways. (Runway 9L/27R is a temporary runway, established on a taxiway for the duration of the fly-in.)

ANN will continue to follow this story, and update as more information becomes available.

FMI: www.faa.gov, www.polksheriff.org/

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