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The Villages
Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Villager and Clermont man injured in plane crash at Leesburg airport

A pilot from The Villages and another one from Clermont were injured Friday morning in a plane crash at Leesburg International Airport.

The two were members of the Village Flyers Inc., which is based at the airport. One of the pilots was a certified flight instructor with many years of experience, said Stan Carpenter, president of the club and a Villages resident himself.

Leesburg Police officers and crews from Leesburg Fire Rescue responded to Leesburg International Airport on Friday morning after a small plane crashed into a wooded area at the facility.

The small plane took off at 10:05 a.m. and crashed a short time later in a wooded, marshy area just off one of the runways near Lake Harris. Both of the victims were transported to Leesburg Regional Medical Center and neither was believed to have suffered life-threatening injuries.

Carpenter, who is part owner of the Beechcraft Skipper that crashed, offered high praise for the instructor.

“I know he took the controls and decided where to set it down in the woods,” Carpenter said. “He did a very good thing and saved their lives. That’s all that matters. The plane can be replaced.”

The single-engine plane that crashed at Leesburg International Airport on Friday morning was a Beechcraft Skipper, similar to the one shown above.

Firefighters were hampered in their efforts to reach the crash site and were forced to use chainsaws to cut through trees blocking their path. There was no fire involved in the crash and no damage to airport buildings or property.

The crash scene was secured Friday morning and turned over to the Federal Aviation Administration for further investigation.

In addition to crews from Leesburg Fire Rescue and officers from the Leesburg Police Department, units from Lake County Fire Rescue, Tavares Fire Department and Lake EMS responded to the crash.

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