Officials ID pilot in double fatal plane crash

DADE CITY, Fla. (AP) - Airport officials say a well-known stunt pilot who performed in air shows around the country was among the two killed when a small plane crashed northwest of Tampa.

Officials say Paul Lopez was flying the plane when it crashed Monday into an orange grove near Dade City. His passenger has not yet been identified.

Witnesses say the plane's engine stalled before it went into a tailspin and into the ground, bursting into flames.

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office described it as a plane designed for aerial acrobatics and says it likely took off from a small airport in nearby Zephyrhills.

The National Transportation Safety Board will issue a preliminary report on the crash in about 10 days.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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