Fire-Rescue Division Chief John San Angelo said the Piper Navajo, a twin-engine turboprop, began experiencing engine trouble shortly after taking off from Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport at about 4:30 p.m.
A twin-engine airplane crashed near Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport Friday afternoon killing all three people on board. Fort Lauderdale public information officer Matt Little says the plane, banked to the right and crashed into a number of parked vehicles.
The plane tried to turn around and make an emergency landing, but it didn’t get back to the airport, he said. Seven cars and a boat caught fire.
As it banked it popped, the engine popped and the plane … went to the ground,” witness Rick Blackburn told 2NEWS affiliate WPTV.
Television pictures show the wreckage of burned out hulls of vehicles and a pile of twisted metal in the middle of the vehicles.
“The plane is in pieces,” said Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Division Chief John San Angelo. “There are car parts and plane parts everywhere.”
Television images showed heavy black smoke rising from the crash scene. Later images show a parking lot with vehicles in a corner that are burned-out shells, a smoldering heap covered in foam spread by firefighters on the scene. The cars are by a chain-link fence, and a building on the other side is streaked with black.
“It looks like a junk yard that burned up,” said Matt Little, a spokesman for Fort Lauderdale fire and rescue.
No one on the ground was injured, he said, and the names of the victims on the plane are being withheld pending notification of kin.
Television reports say the men may have been pilots taking the plane out for checks.
About 40 firefighters were at the scene. San Angelo said smoke and the flames were so heavy that when firefighters first arrived, they couldn’t tell where the plane was.
The small twin-prop Piper airplane left the airport and appeared to have some kind of trouble soon after takeoff, San Angelo said.
It tried to turn back to the airport but didn’t make it, and crashed in the parking lot of the warehouse near Power line Road and 62nd Street at about 4:20 p.m., clipping a tree.
CBS Station WFOR Miami reported that the plane seats about eight passengers, according to the airport’s public information officer, and that it went down close to the intersection of 53rd and N. Powerline Road.
“It’s a terrible scene. It’s the scene of a tragedy,” he said after walking through the wreckage.