Hillsborough County deputies say a pilot crashed his single engine plane shortly after take off

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla - Hillsborough County deputies and officials with the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating a crash that claimed the life of a pilot at Tampa Executive Airport Sunday afternoon.

Ki Martin, 53, of Wimauma, perished in the crashed.

It happened shortly before 4 p.m.

"As we were landing and rolling down the runway I saw that there was a lot of police cars and there was a severely damaged airplane," said Paul Gallizzi, a pilot who landed after the crashed occurred.

Deputies say a motorist on Interstate 4 witnessed the crash and called 911.

Investigators found the yellow, single engine plane on the runway. 

"He was in the process of taking off but for some reason lost control of the plane," said Larry McKinnon, HCSO spokesperson.  "We don't know if it was because of power failure or because of pilot error."

According to McKinnon, about 15 gallons of fuel spilled out on the runway but fire crews cleaned it up.  The plane did not catch fire.

Martin worked as a service manager for Sarasota Avionics International, a company that specializes in the installation of radios and transponders in airplanes.  The company is based at Tampa Executive Airport.

It is not clear where Martin was headed.

"Haven't got any idea whether he was out here practicing or that he was out here enroute to some destination," McKinnon added.

There were no passengers on the plane.

"Fortunately only one, if fatalities have a fortunate part," Gallizzi said.

ABC Action News reached out to Martin's family and his colleagues for comment but did not immediately hear back.

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