Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf
FAA Flight Standards District Office: JACKSONVILLE
NTSB Identification: ERA17FA088
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, January 14, 2017 in Mayo, FL
Aircraft: SHARPE WILLIAM L BUCCANEER II B, registration: N696FT
Injuries: 1 Fatal.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On January 14, 2017, about 1715 eastern standard time, an amphibious experimental amateur-built Buccaneer II B, N696FT, was substantially damaged after it impacted power lines and a river near Mayo, Florida. The sport pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local personal flight conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.
According to a friend, the pilot had flown to the Suwannee River in Blue Springs Park to meet him and camp on the river for the night. The friend needed to retrieve his dog's life vest that had floated south, down the river. The pilot told him that he would unload his airplane and then help with the search.
Multiple witnesses in the area of the accident reported seeing the airplane takeoff northbound on the Suwannee River, make a 180-degree left turn, descend below treetop level and fly southbound over the river out of view. Shortly thereafter, witnesses reported hearing a loud "boom" followed by the engine "going quiet" and a power outage.
One witness, who was located about 1 mile from the power lines stated that he saw the airplane flying about 30-40 feet above the river when it "suddenly flipped backwards and then hit the water."
The pilot held a sport pilot certificate, an airframe mechanic certificate, and a light sport repairman certificate for three airplanes; none of which were the accident airplane. His most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) third-class medical certificate was issued on May 17, 2016. He declared 8,000 total hours of flight experience on that date.
The airplane was primarily an aluminum and Dacron structure, with a fiberglass hull. It was powered by Rotax 912 four-cylinder engine mounted on a pylon in a pusher configuration.
At 1710, the weather reported at Cross City Airport (CTY), about 30 miles from the accident site, included clear skies with 10 statute miles visibility and wind from 30 degrees at 5 knots. The temperature was 22 degrees C, the dew point was 17 degrees C, and the altimeter setting was 30.34 inches of mercury.
The wreckage was located in the river in shallow, fast-moving water, beneath a set of power lines that ran approximately east-west and crossed the river below tree-top level.
The wreckage could not be immediately accessed and was later examined by two FAA inspectors. All major components were accounted for at the scene, and flight control continuity was confirmed from the cockpit to all flight control surfaces.
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According to Suwannee County Fire Rescue, a call came in at 5:08 p.m. that a single-engine plane was in the river in the western part of Suwannee County near the Luraville area. A single occupant was pronounced deceased at the scene, according to Suwannee County Sheriff Sam St. John and SCFR.
Units from Lafayette County and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission were notified and assisted.
The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration were communicating with the emergency crews on the scene and will perform an investigation at the scene as to the cause of the accident.
LURAVILLE, FL (WTXL) -- One person has died after a plane crashed in the Suwannee River Saturday.
According to Suwannee County Fire Rescue, a single-engine plane crashed in the western part of the county by Luraville. The Suwannee County Sheriff's Office and Suwannee County Fire Rescue were notified just after 5:00 p.m.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are currently investigating the crash and communicating with emergency crews on the scene.
Units from neighboring Lafayette County and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation were also notified and are assisting.
The individual has not been identified, and the cause of the crash has not been determined.
UPDATE -- One person is dead after an afternoon plane crash in Suwannee County. Crews are on the scene still searching for victims.
Suwannee County Fire Rescue were notified at 5:08 pm that a plane was in the Suwannee River.
Crews arrived to the scene and began search efforts for any passengers.
An investigation is ongoing.
Suwannee -- A plane has crashed in Suwannee County.
The plane crashed around 5:10 pm Saturday in the middle of the Suwannee River.
Authorities say it's a single-engine plane.
No word as of yet of how many people were on board.