Pilot dies in Marion County plane crash, officials say

78-year-old pilot crashed during landing attempt

Photo courtesy Marion County Fire Rescue (Copyright 2020 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

OCALA, Fla. – A pilot was killed when a small plane crashed Wednesday afternoon in Marion County, according to officials.

Marion County Fire Rescue said it received a call around 10:30 a.m. about a plane crash at Leeward Air Ranch at SE 72d Ave. near Silver Springs Shores.

The 911 caller told a dispatcher the pilot was inside the cockpit as the plane crashed during an attempted landing.

Multiple rescue crews responded to the scene and found the pilot in the cockpit after the plane landed upside-down, according to officials.

The pilot was pronounced dead at the scene.

Authorities later identified the pilot as Ellen Navolo, 78.

“Firefighters on scene mitigated a fuel leak on the airplane, securing it until the plane wreckage is removed,” officials wrote in a Facebook post.

The scene was turned over to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board was called in to investigate.

About the Author:

Erin began her career at News 6 as an assignment editor, then became a show producer. She is now a digital storyteller as part of the Click Orlando team.