Pilot recovering after plane crash near Orange County airport

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — A pilot is recovering after crashing a small plane in Zellwood.

The small airplane went down Monday in Orange County.

The crash was reported just before noon on Cemetery Road in Zellwood, near Apopka.

The 48-year-old licensed pilot took the one-seat plane out for a test flight following mechanical work. It was during that flight he had an engine problem, the Sheriff’s Office said.

The pilot briefly landed on an airstrip at Tangerine Airport, took off again, and crashed between two trees, officials said.

“(He) was able to land safely, tried to circle back around and that’s when he kinda lost control of the plane and ended up in a wooded area behind some residences off of Round Lake Rd.,” said Lt. Ryan Olsson, with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

Witnesses called 911 saying the plane was clipping trees and seemed like it was about to crash.

The pilot had also been communicating with someone at the airport until the signal was lost.

The pilot was alert and conscious when he was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center. He is currently in stable condition.

“We was talking to people, giving his name and date of birth, just visually looked like he had some minor head injuries,” Olsson.

The plane was built in March 2016. According to deputies, it’s a high performance aerobatic plane and it’s believed there was some sort of engine malfunction.

The pilot has not been identified.

Contact Deneige Broom for more on this story.