NTSB: Plane Sat Unused Before Florida Supermarket Crash

April 12, 2012

Federal investigators say a small plane that crashed into a central Florida supermarket had not been flown for about three years.

According to a preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board, the pilot bought the experimental plane in January.

Investigators say the plane left Illinois on April 1 for seaplane training in Florida. The pilot had intended to land in Sanford, but detoured to DeLand when the plane’s transponder malfunctioned.

Investigators say the pilot was flying April 2 from DeLand to Daytona Beach to have the transponder replaced. The plane crashed shortly after takeoff. The pilot, a passenger and one customer in the store were seriously injured. Two other customers also were injured.

Witnesses told the NTSB that the plane stalled and sputtered before crashing into the nearby supermarket.

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