ORLANDO, Fla. – One person died and another was injured Thursday when a twin-engine aircraft flipped over while taxiing for departure during severe weather at Orlando Executive Airport, according to authorities.
The Diamond DA42 Twin Star, along with another unoccupied aircraft, were involved in the weather-related incident around 5 p.m., according to Carolyn Fennell, director of public affairs at Greater Orlando Aviation Authority.
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The Orlando Fire Department told News 6 that one person, later identified as Alfa Ekele, was found dead after crews arrived at the scene. Another person was taken as a trauma alert patient to Orlando Regional Medical Center.
Witnesses at the scene said the plane flipped on the north side of hangar 11, causing other aircraft on the ground to collide with each other.
“One of the aircraft was unoccupied. It was parked on the ramp of our fixed base operator,” Judith-Ann Jarrette, director of the Orlando Executive Airport, told News 6. “The second aircraft had taxied out, and it was going to be departing on our main runway, runway 7, and in the severe weather, the wind flipped the aircraft upside down.”
It’s not known where the flipped planes were headed.
The airport’s hangars suffered damage during the incident, Jarrette said.
“If things get very severe, they’ll hold,” she added. “In fact, the aircraft that had taxied out for departure was waiting, and unfortunately, that system moved in so fast and was so severe with very heavy gusting winds that it actually flipped the airplane.”
News 6 meteorologist Jonathan Kegges said there were 62 mph wind gusts at the airport as the storm passed through the area.
Investigators have not released the names of those involved in the incident.
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the incident.
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