CLEARWATER, Fla. – A small plane crashed into a mobile home park in Clearwater, Florida, on Thursday, tragically resulting in the deaths of three individuals and causing multiple units to catch fire, as confirmed by the Clearwater Police Department.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reported that one crew member on the plane and two individuals on the ground lost their lives in the devastating crash. The incident prompted an immediate dispatch of emergency crews to the Bayside Waters community just after 7 p.m.
Prior to the plane going off radar about 3 miles north of a runway, the pilot transmitted a Mayday signal to St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport, as stated by Clearwater Fire Chief Scott Ehlers. The airport, situated about 7 miles southeast of Clearwater, was the intended landing destination for the single-piston Beechcraft 35 Bonanza, which departed from Vero Beach Regional Airport around 6:08 p.m. according to FlightAware data.
One resident, a 72-year-old man, described being jolted awake by an “unbelievable roar” and being thrown to the floor amidst insulation and broken glass. He narrowly survived the wreckage of the small plane, which tore through his mobile home and destroyed the adjacent trailer.
The impact of the crash has devastated the community and left authorities and residents in shock. It is a tragic reminder of the unpredictable and dangerous nature of aviation accidents, provoking an outpouring of grief and sending ripples of concern through the local and aviation communities. The investigation into the cause of the crash is underway, as officials work to uncover the events leading up to this devastating incident and provide closure for the affected families and community members.