CLEARWATER — A single-engine, fixed-wing plane crashed at the St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport, leaving its 67-year-old pilot seriously injured, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.
Robert Brandon, 67, took off around 1:15 p.m. to return to his home in Pensacola when he reported mechanical problems, said Cpl. Spencer Gross.
When Brandon tried to turn the plane back and land, it crashed just east of the runway on the north side of the airport, Gross said. The plane's front end was severely damaged and both wings broke off. Fuel was everywhere, Gross said.
Brandon was taken to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg with serious, but non-life-threatening injuries, Gross said. He was the only occupant of the plane.
The National Transportation Safety Board will handle the investigation into the crash.