Pilot badly hurt when skydivers' plane crashes after taking off

Associated Press
Published October 4, 2005

DeLAND - A small plane carrying 10 skydivers and their pilot crashed shortly after takeoff Monday, critically injuring the pilot and causing lesser injuries to the others.

DeLand police spokesman Cmdr. Randy Henderson said the plane got about 50 feet off the ground, then banked and crashed.

The pilot was critically injured, while the 10 skydivers had varying minor injuries and were in stable condition, EVAC Ambulance spokesman Mark O'Keefe said.

The 11-passenger Pilatus single-engine turboprop is registered to Vertical Air Inc., based in DeLand. The company owns three other planes.

Henderson said the plane had damage to the landing gear, a propeller and a wing.