VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - A 73-year-old Florida man died shortly after crashing a single-engine homemade plane that he traded another pilot for Tuesday, according to the Volusia Sheriff's Office.
Deputies said the crash happened around 3:35 p.m. at Blue Ridge Flightpark Airport – a private facility on Maytown Road in Oak Hill. According to witnesses, the pilot – later identified as Charles Alban, – moved the plane slowly on the ground multiple times until he got comfortable with it.
Alban then headed south on the airstrip and planned to fly home to Venice, but the plane, however, "did not appear to climb into the air" and suddenly hit a tree, authorities said. He was taken to a local hospital where he died of his injuries.
Investigators did not find anything suspicious about the plane and did not see anything on the runway that might have caused the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating.