Pilot in Leesburg plane crash identified

Small plane crashes into woods near airport, officials say

LEESBURG, Fla. - Local 6 has learned the name of the pilot who crashed a small plane in Leesburg on Christmas Eve.

Officials said the twin-engine piper plane plane crashed around 2:30 p.m. Monday in the area of Dennis Road in Leesburg.

Officials said one person died at the crash scene and another patient was airlifted to Orlando Regional Medical Center with critical injuries.

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Local 6 has since learned the pilot, who died, was John Fetcko of Crescent City, Fla. His father, who lives in Marion County, told Local 6 John's wife, Julie, was the passenger and she is expected to be OK.

The crash site is just four miles north of Leesburg Municipal Airport. An airport official told Local 6 the plane may have run out of fuel and it was trying to land before it crashed.

Witnesses say they saw the plane drop from the sky and land behind a field in the remote section of Lake County. One witness said she's used to noise from planes, but the sound of the crash was distinct.

According to his wife's business website, John Fetcko flew as a hobby, but also restored planes for a career.

The Piper PA31 plane that crashed was registered to Fetcko, according to FAA records.

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