HILLIARD, Fla. — It was a frightful morning for neighbors in Hilliard Wednesday.
Several people called 911 after authorities say a small plane crashed into a family’s backyard on Eastwood Road, across the street from Hilliard Air Park.
Troopers say the pilot, 69-year-old Allen Evans from South Carolina, had taken off from the airport. The Nassau County Sheriff’s Office says Evans had minor injuries.
For hours, the plane remained upside-down, leaning against the home while investigators worked the scene.
Next-door neighbor Douglas Davis thought it was strange that he didn’t hear anything at the time of the crash. He recalled going over to his neighbors’ house to make sure everyone was OK.
“The aircraft seemed to be right against the back of the house, but I couldn’t see any damage to the roof,” he said.
Davis and other neighbors say lots of small planes do “touch-and-go” from the airport, but crashes are rare.
A “touch-and-go” is a plane landing and taking off again without coming to a full stop.
Action News Jax used the plane’s tail number to look up its flight route. It looks like Evans flew for about 12 minutes, looping around the neighborhood several times.
A report by Florida Highway Patrol says the plane stalled before crashing.
Just before 7:00 p.m., crews were seen using heavy machinery to remove the wreckage.
Neighbors like Davis are thankful no one was severely hurt.
“I was concerned about it if they were OK and there was nobody injured or anything like that,” he said. “I’m glad to hear there wasn’t.”
Action News Jax watched crews haul the plane onto airport property Wednesday evening for safe keeping.
FHP says it’s investigating the crash.
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