Small plane crashes into Florida condo building
1st March 2019

A banner-toting plane crashed into a condo building near a Florida beach Friday, killing the pilot, according to reports.

The yellow Piper PA-25 plane smashed into the 18-story building in Fort Lauderdale around 11:50 a.m., hitting between the 16th or 17th floors and then plummeting onto the tower’s pool deck, the Sun Sentinel reports.

No one was injured inside the building — even though a person was in the apartment the plane plowed into, and around 20 workers were on the deck, Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Stephan Gollan told the paper.

Several witnesses say the plane, owned by a company called Aerial Banners Inc., was flying very low when it crashed — and one said the aircraft’s banner got snagged on a nearby building beforehand.

“It was flying real low and the banner got hooked,” Jefferey Walker told the Sentinel.

“It wouldn’t let [the pilot] fly up, and it just crashed right there.”

Walker said the plane broke free, but then crashed into the condo tower.

The banner was later seen on the ground in a nearby neighborhood, according to a local ABC affiliate.

Another witness told the outlet the pilot was flying too low and slow to pull up.

“At that slow speed, there was just no control of it,” Ken Criswell, who is also a pilot, told WPLG Local 10 News “(The engine) was running but he just had no power and couldn’t climb.”

The pilot’s name has not yet been released.

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