May 17th, 2010
07:50 AM ET

Small plane crashes into Florida home

Six people escaped unhurt from a Clearwater, Florida, home after a six-seat plane crashed into it Sunday morning, firefighters reported.

The pilot and two passengers aboard the single-engine Piper Mirage suffered non-life-threatening injuries when the plane crashed into the house, setting the attic ablaze, according to the Clearwater Fire and Rescue service. But the six people at home - including 9-year-old twin girls and a 7-year-old boy - got out of the house unharmed.

The plane was taking off from a small airport used by private aircraft located just a few blocks from the house, Clearwater municipal government spokeswoman Elizabeth Watts told CNN. Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board were headed to the scene, the fire department reported.

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soundoff (87 Responses)
  1. John D

    These recreational jolopies are death traps. Every news story about a plane crash involves one of these stupid private planes landing or crashing and killing its occupants and/or innocent people. People maintain these things the way they maintain their cars, and employ about as much skill when operating. It should be illegal to own and operate a private plane in the US like this unless you are a commercially licensed, active pilot.

    May 16, 2010 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • MT

      John D, you couldn't be more uneducated and ill-informed about general aviation. The Piper Mirage is $1 million sophisticated aircraft with all-weather instrumentation and pressurization. This plane was on a humanitarian mission and flown by a professional jet-rated commercial pilot. This airport was here LONG before people decided to build houses around it. You obviously have no idea what it takes to become a pilot much less afford and become insurable in a plane of this caliber. You haven't the slightest clue about how well maintained most aircraft are. Equally, make your same pointless argument for private boats, motorcycles, and cars. Are you even an American?

      May 16, 2010 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • BG

      Not sure what pilots you hang around with John, but the ones I know, regarless of what rating they hold, keep their aircraft in tip-top shape. Certified airplanes such as the one involved in this accident are required to be serviced by trained and qualified A&P mechanics, so your assertion is way off-base. And by the way, holding a commercial rating says zero about how well the aircraft someone flies is maintained! From where I sit (as a private pilot, experimental aircraft homebuilder, and airpark resident), commercial pilots in general are further removed from aircraft maintenance because they might not evan know the mechanic that works on their aircraft. And concerning the mortality rate of GA accidents, I would also have to say there is a far better chance of walking away from a disabled single-engine aircraft than most commercial aircraft.

      May 16, 2010 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • SkyKing169

      General Aviation is safer than riding in your car.
      Go to your nearest General Aviation airport and Community College, and learn to fly, then spout off after you have some clue as to what you're talking about.

      May 16, 2010 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • gfbiv

      My family has flown the same small plane for three generations. My father picked our Skyhawk up at the Cessna factory in 1962 They still make the same model new so they must be doing something right
      Our small town's industry is dependent on general aviation. Next time just ask a cooperate executive to take the bus to visit a small industry.

      May 16, 2010 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Rudy

    John D, you should not be able to own a car unless you have a CDL. You do not have a clue. Simple fact is other then simple items like changing the oil or a tire a pilot is not even allowed to work on a aircraft. I has to be done by or at least superivised by a trained A&P.

    May 16, 2010 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • SkyKing169

      A&P is Airframe and Powerplant mechanic.
      To work on an aircraft, an A&P must become certified by the FAA, just as a pilot must prove himself to the FAA before taking command of an aircraft.

      May 16, 2010 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
  3. guest

    shouldn't we all just be happy that no one got hurt.

    May 16, 2010 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Matthew

    The problem is that people move to the area of an airport. They know the airport is there, but they insist on living there. Then they yell to close the airport and move it out of town, where in a few years, the town will spread out to the new site.
    That being said, Friends don't let friends fly Piper's.

    May 16, 2010 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      Matthew, you're spot on w/this.

      Around National Airport, there's loads of complaints about airport noise...from people who live in houses newer than the airport. I find it annoying that people buy a house, and seem surprised there's an airport nearby. Two words, people: due diligence! Airports are rather large, noisy and difficult to hide.

      May 17, 2010 at 12:51 am | Report abuse |
  5. Nikki O

    This happened just up the road from us...many peope in the area do not realize we are surrounded by airports - Tampa International , Clearwater Airport, this little Clearwater Air Park & McDill AFB... there are always planes jets overhead – especially Coast Gurad -I trust 99.9% of the pilots know what they're doing – I think this accident happened because the plane was weighted down with supplies a full tank of gas. It is the pilots responsibilty to know the weight & properly balance the aircraft for gravity lift. He obviously didn't estimate his weight correctly for lift & that's why it went down so fast. The people on the ground & on the plane are lucky to be alive...The neighbors that ran out to help – are the real heros in this incident for helping those people out. They didn't think twice about sacrificing themselves to save lives in a explosive situation.

    May 17, 2010 at 3:14 am | Report abuse |
  6. Dan of the devil

    May 17, 2010 at 5:09 am | Report abuse |
  7. JIM

    I used to live in that area and its a pretty densely populated area. The fact that no one was killed is certainly miraculous and elating. Those small airports are not a good thing in populated areas like that.

    May 17, 2010 at 7:09 am | Report abuse |
  8. Bushpig61

    No fatalities? Thank God for some good news.

    May 17, 2010 at 7:22 am | Report abuse |
  9. Larry

    Nikki O – Best comment on this whole site. Well said!

    May 17, 2010 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
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