Single-engine plane crashes near St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport

Single engine plane crashes near St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (Pinellas County Sheriff's Office)

A 67-year-old pilot was injured after his plane crashed at the St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport on Saturday, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said.

The crash occurred at about 1:19 p.m.

Deputies responded to the north side of runway 36, where the 2005 single-engine Piper Meridian fixed winged aircraft had crashed, according to the sheriff's office. The aircraft sustained significant damage and was lying in the grass just east of the runway.

Paramedics transported the pilot, Robert Brandon, of Pensacola, to Bayfront Health in St. Petersburg for serious non-life-threatening injuries.

He was the plane's only occupant.

Brandon told deputies that he was headed to Pensacola when he took off from runway 36, the sheriff's office said. He was already airborne and on his way north when he started experiencing mechanical problems.

In order to land the plane, deputies say Brandon turned the plane in a right eastbound direction when the plane crashed next to the runway.

The engine and both wings of the plane were damaged as a result of the crash.

The investigation into the cause of the crash is being investigated by the FAA and the NTSB, according to the sheriff's office. The cause of the crash hasn't been determined.

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