Witness Reports Seeing Gyrocopter Crash into Florida Mobile Home
HIGHLANDS COUNTY, FL. – October 31, 2018 (wtsp.com) A witness reports seeing the crash of an experimental gyrocopter into a Florida mobile home October 30, according to an online news report from wtsp.com.*
At approximately 2:45 p.m. on October 30, authorities in Highlands County received a call about a downed aircraft at the Sebring Falls Mobile Home Park. Deputies with the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office arrived at the scene to find that an experimental gyrocopter had crashed into a mobile home, and both were on fire. The home was destroyed, and two other homes were damaged by the fire.
A witness who was driving on U.S. 27 at the time, Paul Federico, says he saw the gyrocopter still in the air, then observed it take a nosedive from about 200 feet.
“It’s a completely helpless feeling, because you know there’s nothing you can do to affect the outcome,” Federico said. “One or two heartbeats later, you’ve got that really, really ugly black cloud.”
Federico said he called 911 to report what he saw. The aircraft had reportedly taken off from Sebring Regional Airport and was bound for an airport in Manatee County. It is still not clear how the crash occurred. No one was in the mobile home at the time, but an unidentified man working on a nearby home suffered burn injuries to his arm and leg. He was transported to a local hospital for treatment.
The pilot of the aircraft, 45-year-old Christopher Lord, and the only passenger on board, 52-year-old Christopher Brugger, died in the crash. Lord was reportedly the owner of Gyroplaneguy Inc., based out of the Sebring Regional Airport, and had logged thousands of hours flying 30 different models of gyroplanes.
The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will be investigating the crash.
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