Pilot Uninjured After Small Plane Crashes in Pompano Beach: BSO

Plane crashed in alleyway on NE 3rd Avenue: BSO

By Claudia DoCampo and Brian Hamacher
|  Friday, Jun 21, 2013  |  Updated 10:20 AM EDT
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Police and firefighters respond after a small plane crashes in Pompano Beach. Officials said the pilot was uninjured and there were no injuries on the ground.

Police and firefighters respond after a small plane crashes in Pompano Beach. Officials said the pilot was uninjured and there were no injuries on the ground.

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A pilot escaped uninjured after a small plane crashed in an alleyway in Pompano Beach Friday morning, officials said.

The plane went down in the 2100 block of Northeast 3rd Avenue northwest of Pompano Air Park just before 6:23 a.m., Broward Sheriff's Office spokesman Mike Jachles said.

The pilot, who identified himself as James Smith, escaped uninjured and is reported to be the only person on the plane, Jachles said. No one on the ground was injured.

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Authorities said the 75-year-old pilot, who has 35 years of flying experience, was walking around when fire rescue units arrived at the scene. He was taken to Broward Health North as a precaution.

Smith told NBC 6 South Florida he was on his way to Tampa to get service on his plane when he went down. He said he had never had an emegency like the one he faced Friday, and said he had been worried about the people on the ground.

The plane knocked down powerlines on its way to the ground, causing an outage in the neighborhood.

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"I was really close to the wires, thought I could get over the top of them, but it didn't work," Smith said.

Florida Power and Light officials said about 1,750 customers were without power as a result of the crash, but within 30 minutes about 75 percent of those customers had their power restored. All service was restored shortly after 9 a.m.

The crash also caused a fuel spill which was being cleaned by the fire department.

Neighbors said they heard the crash and saw the wreckage and were surprised to see the pilot walking around uninjured.

"We were sleeping and we heard like a loud crash. I thought it was maybe a transformer or box from a pole or a car crash," neighbor Quincy Jones said. "I walked over to the plane the pilot open the door and got out was not hurt at all."

"All of a sudden, boom, a lot of noise and everything and I jumped up and the power went out," Carol Carlton said.

It's unknown what caused the plane to crash. The NTSB is investigating the crash.

Check back with NBC 6 South Florida and NBC6.com for updates.

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