Small plane makes emergency landing near Spruce Creek Fly-In, Volusia deputies say

Pilot suffers minor head injury

By Adrienne Cutway - Web Editor, Jennifer Ortega - Reporter

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - For the second time this week, a small plane went down near the Spruce Creek Fly-In community, officials from the Volusia County Sheriff's Office said Thursday afternoon.

Deputies referred to the incident as a crash, but said it appears the pilot was forced to make an emergency landing. The plane went down in the woods about 50 feet from a resident's yard near State Road 415 at 4:20 p.m. Thursday.

That location is in the Spruce Creek Farms subdivision, which is about half a mile from the Spruce Creek Fly-In community.

“You couldn't see anything because the plane went down in the timber and there’s a field before it," said Karen Rieman, who, along with a neighbor, watched as the red plane come down.

The plane came very close to the back of a home, just yards away from a swimming pool, Rieman said.

Pilot Arthur Taxman, 71, was the only person on board the small propellor plane, deputies said. He suffered a minor head injury in the crash but he is not a trauma patient. He was taken to Halifax Health Medical Center to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Deputies said Taxman made an emergency landing after experiencing a mechanical failure.

“(He’s) super-lucky,” said Frank Vitale, who lives nearby. “The odds of someone living in a plane crash is very low.”

On Tuesday night, a Cessna 140 crashed about four miles away. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University said student Nandish Patel, 22, died in the crash and instructor Chase Zinn, 23, was seriously injured.

“(It’s) pretty ironic, especially (considering the crashes were in) such close proximity of each other,” Vitale said.

When contacted about the incident Thursday, Embry-Riddle officials said they had no information to provide.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating both incidents.

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