Pilot injured in Polk County plane crash identified

Photo courtesy Polk County Fire Rescue.

BARTOW, Fla. (WFLA) — The Polk County Sheriff’s Office has identified the pilot who was seriously injured after crashing his plane in a church parking lot on Sunday.

Deputies say 61-year-old Robert Silva from Jensen Beach was flying his Cirrus SR22 plane when he crashed into a utility pole and onto a vehicle in the parking lot of the Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church.

Silva was taken to Lakeland Regional Medical Center with serious injuries. He is currently in stable condition.

About 300 people inside the church heard the crash happen. Members rushed outside, including nurses who started to help the injured pilot.

Six cars in the parking lot were damaged.

The FAA and NTSB are now investigating what caused the crash.

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