Plane crash at St. Pete Clearwater International sends one person to the hospital
CLEARWATER, Fla - A pilot is in serious condition after the plane he was flying crashed onto the runway at St. Petersburg- Clearwater International Airport
67-year-old Robert Brandon was flying home to Pensacola just after 1PM. on Saturday when he started noticing engine problems and sent this emergency call to air traffic control.
Brandon: "8-6-3 Romeo Bravo, got an emergency got to return to the runway"
Air traffic control: "8-6-3 Romeo Bravo, you can make a left turn at runway 3-6, oh (explicit). "
Sgt. Spencer Gross of the Pinellas County Sheriff's office said, "He experienced engine trouble and his intention was to the circle the plane around and that's when the aircraft crashed."
Investigators are still not sure what caused the 2005 Piper Meridian single engine plane to crash nose first just East of the runaway.
That crash shut down the airport temporarily, and officials say the pilot suffered serious injuries.
Gross said, "Some broken bones, some rib injuries and I believe had collapsed lung."
Gross says thankfully the injuries are not life threatening.
The FAA and NTSB are currently investigating what went wrong.