TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Federal investigators say the pilot of
a small plane whose wing struck a Jeep, causing a fatal crash, had
previously performed similar takeoffs.
The Feb. 1 crash on a private runway at Ayavalla Plantation
killed the Jeep's two occupants.
According to the National Transportation Safety Board's
preliminary report, a dirt bike and the Jeep were both traveling
down the runway before the pilot began his takeoff. Officials say
the cyclist and the driver knew the plane was taking off.
The pilot told investigators that he had performed similar
takeoffs "many times" and would fly low over the vehicle and the
The report says there were no problems with the plane or flight
controls before the crash.
Investigators say the Jeep was traveling about 35 mph to 40 mph,
and the plane was flying about 75 mph.