The pilot of a three-passenger Cessna aircraft, which nose-dived at the intersection of Ocala Road and West Tennessee Street Friday, remains in stable condition at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. Hal McCord, 50, suffered a broken leg and an injured back, TMH officials said.
At 8:40 p.m. McCord’s airplane crashed, hitting several power lines and leaving approximately 7,200 people without electricity.
McCord, who was flying alone from Maryland in the private aircraft, delivered distress signals to the air traffic control tower at 5700 Spring Hill Road in Tallahassee.
Deputy Lee Majors of Leon County Sheriff’s Office was in a sheriff’s helicopter when he heard the distress call and saw the plane go down, reported WCTV Channel 6’s Web site.
“The only communication he gave that gave us any indication he had a problem, was when he said, ‘I’ve got a problem, I’m making a dead stick landing,’ which would indicate the engine has failed,” Majors said. “He sounded quite calm just seconds before the plane crashed.”
A large portion of the plane ended up in the Walgreens’ parking lot on the corner of Ocala Road.
The crash left Florida State University without electricity and left a large portion of neighborhoods and businesses west of the university in the dark as well.
City of Tallahassee electric utility crews restored power at 10:24 p.m., while LCSO and the Tallahassee Police Department worked together to direct traffic.
No electricity left many people confused and scared.
“I was real scared,” said Jonathan Snell, 23, a senior criminal justice student from FSU. “I heard an explosion after the lights went out. After hearing it was a plane crash, I thought it was a jumbo plane.”
Snell is a resident of Seminole Grand apartment complex, located on West Tharpe Street.
Federal investigators searched the area the next day before the debris was removed.
Law enforcement officials say federal investigators will take a closer look at the mangled engine and twisted metal to see what caused the plane to go down.