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Pilot killed as U.S. small plane crashes into house
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10:39, April 18, 2009

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A small plane crashed in a home in Florida after taking off from an airport on Friday, killing the pilot, according to a local TV report.

The report by the WPLG TV said that the pilot, who was tentatively identified as 80-year-old Cecil Alexander Murray, died when the twin-engine Cessna 421-B he was flying crashed into a house in the morning east of Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport.

A local county sheriff Al Lamberti told the TV that the plane took off from the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport en route to Fernandina Beach, where the pilot would try to sell it.

Before the crash, the pilot radioed the air traffic control tower and said that he had to return due to mechanical difficulties and engine problems, he said.

However, the plane lost altitude on its way back to the airport, and hit a power line and a tree before it crashed into the house, which burst into flames immediately, he added.

According to the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA), the Cessna, which can hold up to eight people, was registered to an air charter company in Tamarac, a Fort Lauderdale suburb.

According to local fire rescue officials, houses around the crash site were briefly evacuated and most of the fire was extinguished by about noon.

The TV report also said that there were nobody in the house that was hit when the crash took place, but the residents had to stay in the hotel and seek for assistance from the Red Cross.

It was at least the third air crash involving the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, which caters to small planes and jets, in the last five years.

In 2005, a DC-3 cargo plane crashed into a residential street near the airport shortly after takeoff but the pilot, co-pilot and a passenger all survived.

A Piper Cherokee crashed into an auto body shop shortly after takeoff in 2004, killing two people on the plane and critically injuring a third on the ground.

Source: Xinhua

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