2 dead in small plane crash
SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. (WSVN) -- Two people are dead after their small plane crashed into an airstrip.
According to Miami-Dade Aviation, a single-engine plane with two people onboard crashed at a private airstrip near Southwest 221st Avenue and 202nd Street, Saturday.
The small plane, known as a Skyboy, was reportedly in the air for about 30 minutes. "Someone actually saw the airplane fly and then go into a spin," said Jose Obrejon of the National Transportation Safety Board.
After the spin, the plane slammed into the ground. "You hear the glass exploding and the big bang," said a witness.
"The aircraft did go down, and unfortunately, it took their lives," said Miami-Dade Police Det. Alvaro Zabaleta. "Unfortunately, they were pronounced deceased on the scene."
The pilot, who has been identified as Rick Blanco, and a female passenger died upon impact. Pilots at the airstrip said the man and woman onboard were not married or related.
"Rick was my best friend, best guy in the world," said Mike Bigelow, the pilot's friend. "Life will never be the same without him."
The flying club Blanko was a member of was holding its annual party at the airstrip.
Investigators took hours to comb over the debris of the plane. According to the Miami-Dade Police Department, Blanco was said to be very experienced.
"A professional in every sense of the word, and I just can't imagine how this could have happened. It's a tragedy, but I just want everybody to know that he was a great human being and a great pilot, and we've lost someone today that we shouldn't have," said Bigelow.
The cause of the crash is unknown.
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