SANFORD, Fla. — A pilot died Saturday when his plane crashed at the Orlando-Sanford International Airport, officials said.
The incident involved a Piper P12 that crashed into the grass and burst into flames at the airport shortly before 1 p.m., said Lauren Rowe, with the Orlando-Sanford International Airport.
The pilot has been identified as Thomas Camman, 55, a long-time tenant at the Southeast Ramp of the Orlando-Sanford International Airport, officials announced late Saturday.
"He enjoyed flying his planes and he went out doing something he loved," said Thomas' brother, Paul Camman. "There's some consolation in that."
Camman's family said Thomas Camman started flying at 16 years old and worked as a commercial pilot captain for Spirit Airlines for almost 20 years.
Diane Crews, president with the Orlando-Sanford International Airport, said the Piper P12 was on its maiden voyage following its recent restoration. Crews said it appears the plane stalled, then crashed shortly after takeoff.
“This is a sad day for the Orlando Sanford International Airport. We grieve with the family and friends of Mr. Camman. We would also like to express our appreciation for the first responders today, including our Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Department, the Sanford Airport Police and the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office," said Crews.
Two runways, which are used for private and corporate planes, reopened Sunday following the crash investigation. The runways did not impact arriving or departing flights at the airport, officials said.
"Planes been taking off, back and forth," said David Summerlin, who was at the airport. "(I) didn't hear nothing inside. (I have) been working all day, then we see a bunch of police and ambulance going that way. (I) didn't hear nothing."
The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.
No one else was injured, investigators said.
Cox Media Group