Gusty winds may have caused fatal Clearwater Airpark plane crash

CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – Landing gear pointed to the sky, the fuselage crumpled, the 2007 “Cirrus” single-engine plane sat near a secondary taxiway.

It’s intended point of touchdown was about 50 feet away.

“Somebody here at the airport heard something, heard the crash and called 911. So, that’s when our paramedics and police both responded to the scene,” said Rob Shaw, with the Clearwater Police Department and Fire Rescue.

They pulled the pilot, the only person aboard, out of the cockpit, but there was nothing they could do. He died on the scene.

Eagle 8 HD shows where this accident happened. It’s on the north side of the field, just east of the main runway.

While the FAA and the NTSB will now take over the official investigation to determine what went wrong, weather appears to be a factor.

“I think one of the theories, the plane was landing on runway 16, and about the same time, there’s a lot of gusty winds out here, so about that same time, a gust of wind might have caused it to flip and overturn on its top,” said Shaw.

It appears the plane may have touched down and immediately got caught in the wind, hurling it to the east in a violent toss.

Video taken from the airport office did not catch the plane as it lost control.

“We’re actually gonna appeal to the public is, if you live around this area and you saw or heard anything unusual, please call the Clearwater Police Department.”

The plane is registered out of state. The name of the pilot has not been released.

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