Small propeller plane crashes in Port Orange

A 71-year-pilot survived an emergency landing in a Volusia County neighborhood on Thursday.

The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office says Arthur Taxman had a mechanical failure and had to land just off of State Road 415, in a heavily wooded area, 50 feet from a home in the Spruce Creek Farms subdivision.

The scene is about a half-a-mile from a crash that killed one person earlier this week at the Spruce Creek Fly-In. Residents tell FOX 35 the crashes are too close for comfort.

“It’s ironic, especially in such close vicinity of each other, but I feel bad for the people who are obviously in the airplanes," said Frank Vitale, who lives in the subdivision where Thursday’s emergency landing took place.

Taxman survived the landing, escaping with a minor injury to his head.

“Just super lucky cause the odds of someone living in a plane crash are obviously very low," Vitale tells the News Station.

Investigators say it’s unclear where Taxman was flying from and or where his intended destination was.

The Federal Aviation Administration is now investigating.


Earlier this week, another small plane crashed in the same community, resulting in the death of one person on board and serious injury to a second person.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University student, Nandish Patel, 22, died in the crash.  Patel was a senior majoring in Aeronautical Science at the university.   A second person on board that plane was rushed to the hospital and remains in critical condition. Luckily, no residents on the ground near the Spruce Creek Airport in Port Orange were injured. 

"The plane was on takeoff and something went wrong," said Austin Mitchell, who lives nearby.  "I heard an engine stall out and start back up, and then the plane crashed into the empty lot right next to me.  Then, I ran over and saw one body, starting pulling him out."

That wreckage was towed away from the crash site Wednesday afternoon and will be taken to a salvage hanger in Jacksonville to be analyzed, according to the NTSB.