Small plane goes down in Paynes Prairie

Police lights daytime

Search crews located a small plane that went down in Paynes Prairie on Tuesday afternoon.

The plane went down just after 2 p.m. after multiple people called 911 and reported the sounds of a plane in trouble near Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park and Micanopy.

According to a WUFT article, the single-engine plane took off from the Kissimmee Airport around 12:45 p.m. and, “Radio traffic between the pilot and Kissimmee’s tower showed that, as the pilot prepared for takeoff, he was warned that his destination airport was under instrument flight rules, meaning clouds were too thick in the vicinity to see clearly. Then, seconds before takeoff, the controller encouraged the pilot to wait because it appeared that conditions were clearing for visual rules.”

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Emergency responders from the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO), Alachua County Fire Rescue and Marion County Sheriff’s Office searched the area until the plane was discovered around 5:15 p.m.

Control towers at the Gainesville Regional Airport and Jacksonville Airport reportedly lost contact with the plane near Micanopy, according to the ACSO.  

The Federal Aviation Administration will investigate the accident.  

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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