Authorities said that a single-engine Piper plane crashed on Hollywood Boulevard on Wednesday and burst into flames, killing the pilot, reported by the local police office to be a former soldier and a commercial aviator.
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said that the plane crash in Hollywood occurred at 450 N Park Road at around 12:45pm.
The officials also noted: “The pilot was the only one on board the aircraft when it crashed, which is now under investigation by the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).”
The pilot’s friend while talking to CBS News Miami said he was in his twenties and says he was an army veteran.
The friend also added that the victim is a former commercial pilot and that he was training to operate banner planes. The friend also noted this was only the victim’s first or second time flying this plane.
The city spokesperson Deanne Bettineschi said: “Upon impact, the [banner plane] was fully engulfed in flames and fire rescue responded to put out the blaze. It appeared to be a single-engine plane with one person deceased inside.”
Upon the arrival of the Hollywood fire rescue the plane was entirely in flames.
The plane operated out of North Perry Airport in Pembroke Pines which is west of the crash site.
The company Aerial Banners out of Pembroke Pines told CBS News Miami that it was their plane that crashed.
Authorities have not yet confirmed the identity of the pilot and the FAA and the NTSB are investigating.
According to FAA, a preliminary report would be released by Thursday.
Rhonda Martinez said she saw a banner plane before it crashed and knew it was in trouble.
“I saw the plane flying low to the left and I saw the yellow plane with a banner and it seemed like it was losing altitude because it was going in a downward position and that seemed awfully low for a plane to be flying.”
“Honestly, my dad was in pilot school at one time and I know that the plane that was flying was in trouble. I feel terrible because I was born and raised here. This is heart-wrenching.”
Arielle Toeknee, who works in a building nearby, said she and her coworkers saw the plane crash in Hollywood.
“We saw the yellow plane coming down and it was riding very low and we were very concerned for it. A few seconds later we saw the banner fall,” she said. “We all ran to the window and unfortunately we saw the plane in flames and it was definitely a sight to see, it was horrible.”