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Two dead after small plane crashes into Lake Arietta in Polk County

small plane crash
Posted at 1:58 PM, Dec 17, 2021

A small plane crashed into Lake Arietta in Auburndale Friday afternoon, authorities say.

It happened just before 12:30 p.m. and officials say two people were on board the single-engine Aerofab plane. Auburndale Fire Department says those two people died in the crash.

“Unfortunately once we got there we recovered the body of a female adult from the water, and then later this afternoon we recovered the body of a male adult from the wreckage," Auburndale Police Chief Andy Ray said.

Ray said witnesses saw the seaplane flying about 150 feet above the lake when they heard a loud 'pop' sound. Then, the plane veered abruptly to the right and dipped down before hitting the lake at a steep angle.

"I heard a loud 'boom' all of a sudden," Charlotte Rodriguez, who lives along Lake Arietta and called 9-1-1 to report the plane crash. "I looked out my window and there was a big ball of fire, so I knew something had hit the water and exploded."

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating. The NTSB will be in charge of the investigation and will provide additional updates. Neither agency identifies people involved in aircraft accidents.