SANFORD, Fla. - Seminole County fire officials said they were investigating an incident involving a plane that came down at the Sanford International Airport and left the pilot dead Saturday afternoon.
The air traffic control tower at the airport issued an alert at 12:52 p.m. that a crash had happened in the grass on the north side of Runway 9R, airport officials said. A Piper PA-12 Super Cruiser crashed to the ground shortly after takeoff.
Airport officials said the pilot was killed upon impact. The pilot was identified by the airport as Thomas Camman, 55, a long-time tenant at the Southeast Ramp of the airport.
"This is a sad day for the Orlando Sanford International Airport, we grieve with the family and friends of Mr. Camman," Diane Crews, president and CEO of Orlando Sanford International Airport, said in a statement. "We would also like to express our appreciation for the first responders today, including our Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Department, the Sanford Airport Police and the Seminole County Sheriff's Office.
The Federal Aviation Administration released a statement on the incident earlier in the day.
"A Piper PA-12 aircraft veered off the runway and burst into flames as it was departing Orlando Sanford International Aircraft at about 1 p.m. today. Check with local authorities on the condition of the pilot, the only person on board. The FAA will investigate," the FAA wrote.
Airport officials said there were no other injuries to anyone on the ground, no damage to the airfield and no interruption in the airport's commercial flight operation.
Runways 18-36 and 9L are expected to remain closed until Monday following the conclusion of the investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board, airport officials said.
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