Archive for Saturday, April 18, 2009

Plane splits Fla. home in half, killing pilot

April 18, 2009


— A small plane sputtered and dove into a house shortly after taking off from a local airport Friday morning, slicing the home down the middle into two charred pieces. The pilot was killed.

The twin-engine Cessna 421 crashed around 11:20 a.m., and the house burst into flames. The owner’s nephew barely escaped the catastrophe, leaving just before the aircraft hit to visit his aunt.

“For now, it’s a bit difficult to explain how I feel,” said Oscar Nolasco, 52, who has lived in the home for nearly 20 years. “Everything is gone.”

The house was about a mile from the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, where the plane has just taken off. The pilot, Cecil A. Murray, 80, of Tarmac, did not survive, said Broward County Sheriff Al Lamberti. There were no passengers aboard the plane.

The smell of fuel hung in the air hours after the crash, and the shell of the aircraft was sandwiched between two walls of the beige house. The home’s driveway was black, but its white mailbox was still standing.

When the plane began to fail, Rick Cunningham heard a “spitting and sputtering” while he was painting a house down the street. Then, he saw the plane coming in sideways, and it nose-dived into the ground, he said.


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