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Plane was on maintenance flight before fatal crash on Ocala road

Pilot, mechanic were on board

OCALA, Fla. – A pilot and a mechanic were on board a maintenance flight when the plane crashed onto an Ocala road, killing both men, according to newly released documents.

Records from the Ocala Police Department show the pilot, Peter Morrow, went to Ocala International Airport the day before the Oct. 31 crash to have the right engine fuel flow sensor examined. 

A mechanic performed several ground tests but was unable to replicate the issue the morning of Oct. 31 so Morrow and mechanic Christopher Belcher went on a test flight, police said.

An air traffic controller said the plane headed west when it left the airport but didn't seem to be going as fast as it should have been and was drifting east. When Morrow was told to straighten the plane's course, he told air traffic control he needed to go back to the airport but didn't mention any mechanical issues.

Police said the plane dropped its left wing and went down about 10 seconds after that.

The plane crashed into the front of a Toyota on College Road and its propeller flew off and hit a Jeep, records show.

A witness said the plane's engine sounded as if it was having problems and the plane was turning sharply to the left and crashed on its side.

Records show multiple people called 911 to report the crash.

"We saw a plane coming, flying in low, and it's crashed and it's on fire," a witness told a 911 operator.

Morrow and Belcher died at the scene.

The driver of the Toyota suffered potentially life-threatening injuries. The driver of the Jeep was not injured.


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