2 killed in Florida plane crash

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  1. Njaco

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    2 killed in Florida plane crash - CNN.com

    2 killed in Florida plane crash

    Pilot, passenger killed after small plane crashes near Florida coast
    The downed aircraft was a T-6 World War II plane, the Coast Guard said
    Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the incident

    (CNN) -- A small plane crashed Saturday in the waters near Miramar Beach, Florida, killing a male pilot and his female passenger, officials said.

    Divers recovered the bodies from the AT6-Texan, a World War II-era plane, which was under about 50 feet of water and roughly half a mile off shore, according to Coast Guard spokesman Stephen Lehmann.

    The release of the victims' names is pending notification of family, according to Walton County Sheriff's Office spokesman Mike Gurspan.

    The bodies were sent to a medical examiner for an autopsy.

    The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash. The sheriff's office would not comment on the possible cause of the accident.

    FlightAware > Discussions :: View topic - 2 killed in T-6 Texan crash off coast of Florida

    AP is reporting pilot as Birmingham, Al neurosurgeon Dr. Evan Zeigler. Said Zeigler was in formation flight with several other aircraft when the crash occured. Very sad all around; for the old plane, the pilot and passenger and their families.


    The T-6 was one of five aircraft flying together when the crash occurred, said Chris Johnson, officer of the day at the Coast Guard Station Destin.

    Witness DuWayne Escobedo said he was on the beach watching the planes do stunts when he saw one of them come out of a loop and fall into the gulf.

    “Looks like he stalled and did a nosedive into the water,” said Escobedo, of Pensacola. “Then his buddies came back around and circled.”

    His daughter, 12-year-old Claire Escobedo, videotaped the crash.

    “I was just watching him with the camera and then he went into the water,” said Claire. “We all got scared when he went into the water.

    “It looked like it was from a movie,” she said.

    She turned over her camera with about 30 seconds of video to lawmen so they could use it in their investigation.

    During World War II, the single-engine T-6 was used in pilot training. It remains a popular vintage aircraft.

    The Coast Guard, South Walton Fire District, Walton County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission were called to help with rescue and recovery efforts.

    Five search boats formed a circle in the gulf as divers searched for survivors for several hours Saturday afternoon. Crash debris, including two helmets, was found early on. Oil from the aircraft was bubbling up to the surface of the water.

    The FAA is investigating the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board will determine the probable cause of the accident, FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said.

    A person who answered the phone at Destin Airport on Saturday would not release any information about whether the planes took off from there.

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