- Kristina Webb Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
One person was injured Saturday afternoon when a single-engine plane crashed near a Florida airport.
The pilot, 67-year-old Robert Brandon of Pensacola, told investigators his 2005 Piper Meridian experienced mechnical problems just after taking off from the St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport in Clearwater to return to Pensacola, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. Brandon tried to turn back to land the plane, but crashed next to the runway just after 1 p.m., the PCSO said.
Brandon sustained serious injuries and was taken to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg for treatment. He was the only person on-board at the time of the crash, according to the news release.
The engine and both wings of the plane were damaged. The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Bureau are investigating the crash.