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Volusia plane crash survivors identified

Crash reported just after takeoff from Spruce Creek Fly-In

PORT ORANGE, Fla. – A man and woman survived a plane crash Friday morning in Volusia County, officials said.

Volusia County sheriff's officials said the victims, Alan Kanabay, 65, and Wendy Kanabay, 64, of Illinois, were pulled from the downed aircraft. They were taken to Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach, where they were listed in stable condition.

The crash was reported about 6:40 a.m. in a wooded area near the 2600 block of Bravo V Circle, about a mile from the Spruce Creek Fly-In in Port Orange, where the plane took off, sheriff's officials said.

A 911 caller reported that the plane was upside down with its wings stripped off. 

“He’s moving. He answered me," the caller said. "I’m going to go out to the road so I can direct the responders. Tell them to come to my house, and I’ll get them out into the swamp.”

Fog was reported in portions of Central Florida, but it's not known if weather played a role in the crash.

The Federal Aviation Administration will investigate the cause of the crash.

A plane crashes into the woods in Volusia County.
A plane crashes into the woods in Volusia County.

At least 11 other accidents have been reported to the National Transportation Safety Board in the past decade involving aircraft flying in and out of Spruce Creek. 

• In November 2006, a flight instructor and student were killed when their plane ran out of fuel while trying to make an emergency landing at  Spruce Creek airport.
• A pilot was killed when his plane plunged into a field near the airport in March 2007. NTSB investigators believe the pilot failed to maintain airspeed while taking off from Spruce Creek, causing an engine to stall.
• Six months later, an aircraft landing at Spruce Creek collided with another plane taking off. Investigators concluded that the departing aircraft, which was never located, did not conduct a proper visual lookout. No one was injured.
• On New Years Eve 2008, the pilot of a Cessna 180K made a hard landing after failing to compensate for wind conditions, records show.
• In July 2010, an aircraft’s landing gear collapsed as it came to rest in grass just off the runway. The NTSB blamed the incident on pilot error.
• An airplane crashed into a hangar while attempting to land at Spruce Creek in March 2013. Pilot error was cited in an investigative report.
• The following month, a student pilot experienced an unexplained power loss during takeoff. The plane was damaged when it crashed at the end of the runway but the pilot was not injured.
• Exactly one year later, in April 2014, an airplane rolled off the runway and splashed into a pond during landing.   No one was injured.
• Five months later, a flight instructor and student suffered minor injuries when their aircraft ran out of fuel while on final approach to the airport.
• On Dec. 12, 2016, a plane owned by a Spruce Creek resident crashed in a wooded area just south of the airport, sparking a small brush fire.  The pilot walked away with only minor injuries.  The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
• Two weeks later, two people were killed when their experimental, amateur-built aicraft crashed feet away from a home inside the Spruce Creek community.  The NTSB is still investigating what caused the plane to go down during final approach.

Only seven other Florida airports had more reported incidents over the past decade, including the record 21 incidents reported at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport. 

NTSB records do not suggest anything particular to the Spruce Creek airport was to blame for the incidents that occurred at or near the fly-in community.

The Spruce Creek airport manager did not immediately return a phone call from News 6 seeking comment on this report.


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