ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Officials say a small plane has crashed into a lake in Orlando, killing two people aboard. Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings says there were no survivors from Friday's crash in a lake southwest of Orlando's downtown. He says the deceased were a male in his 50's and a teenage girl. He did not give names.
Orange County Deputies and the National Transportation Safety Board are back out on Clear Lake Saturday morning investigating a plane crash that killed two people Friday.
A craned arrived at the scene to haul the plane out of the water so officials can continue their investigation.
Several witnesses saw the plane crash into the lake Friday morning.
“It sounded like a transformer or something blew up,” said one man who was visiting friends along Clear Lake. “Boom! That was it. Boom!" said another. The boom was so loud and so forceful, some say it even shook their homes. But only those who actually saw the plane go down realized the plane crashed about 50 yards off shore.
Kilman Riches was down at a neighbors house. “I got a phone call that a plane crashed,” said Riches. So he grabbed is mask and jumped on a boat. “I got out there just as it was sinking. There was some other people out there. They found the plane for me, and it was several feet down.” Riches, a former stunt man, jumped in the water and dove down looking for the plane. “I pulled two bodies out, looked like they were dead on impact,” he said.
Some other boaters helped by pulling the victims onto the swim platform. Others watched from the shore in shock. Investigators say the a six-seater Bonanza propeller plane departed Orlando Executive Airport, near Downtown Orlando around 11 a.m. The first call reporting the crash came into 911 about 20 minutes later.
“The flight schedule indicates that they took off from Orlando Executive, en route to Gainesville, Texas, although the plane was registered out of Montana,” Sheriff Demings said.
FOX 35 was told the pilot radioed back to the Executive Airport that they were having problems with auto pilot and were turning back, but they never made it. Demings says the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.