LAKELAND, Fla. (FOX 13) - The pilot of a plane that crashed at Lakeland Linder Airport Saturday morning was doing a maneuver called touch-and-go before the crash.
That crash took the 64-year-old student pilot’s life.
It happened just after 10 o'clock Saturday morning.
We don't have too many details about what specifically caused Gary Alan Mansell, 64, to crash his single-engine sport on the grassy grounds of the sun and fun expo, causing it to burst into flames right off the runway.
"It's just a loss for everybody involved,” commented Gary Gross of the Lakeland Police Department. "On the third touch and go, the airplane ended up doing a hard landing, and caught on fire."
Mansell was doing touch-and-go landings, a common maneuver that involves landing on a runway and taking off again without coming to a full stop.
Fire rescue responded in just over two minutes and had the fire out within minutes.
Officials say the plant city resident kept his single-engine Sport BRM Aero Bristol Light plane in Lakeland. They are unaware if he notified air traffic control of any issues.
NTSB will be investigating to determine the cause of the accident.
"At this point in time we will impound the airplane and they'll take over the investigation to determine the cause of the accident," Gross said.
Because we're in the midst of a partial government shutdown, there was concern the investigation could be delayed by the NTSB.
During the shutdown of 2013, the government agency was only able to launch investigations into major accidents involving significant casualties.
No word yet though if this shutdown, that started last night, has delayed this investigation.