|image courtesy of New College of Florida|
SARASOTA – Details are beginning to emerge regarding the fatal plane crash that occurred Saturday afternoon on the campus of New College of Florida. The accident claimed the life of the pilot, while leaving the passenger in critical condition with life-threatening burns at Tampa General Hospital. Authorities identified the pilot and passenger yesterday.
Fortunately, no students or staff from the school were injured nor were any buildings damaged when the single-engine Seawind 3000 crashed at around 3:30 pm, near the Heiser Natural Sciences Building, just across U.S. 41 from the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, from which the aircraft had departed.
John William Ardoyno, 70, of Hayward, Wisconsin, piloted the single-engine aircraft and died when it crashed. According to authorities, Ardoyno's passenger, William S. Jackson, 63, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, was ablaze when he crawled out of the wreckage. Paramedics airlifted him to Tampa General Hospital's burn unit, where he remains in critical condition.
Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) arrived on the New College campus on Sunday morning and they began piecing together the details surrounding the crash. While they are still not sure about the reason the plane went down, NTSB officials say the accident occurred just minutes after takeoff, when the experimental kit plane failed to gain altitude and struck a tree on the New College campus. The plane then veered into a second tree before crashing to the ground in flames.
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