MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. - The pilot of a plane that crashed Monday in western Martin County said he was taking off from a pasture at Pine Ridge Plantation when a gust of wind caught the plane, according to a Martin County Sheriff's Office report released today.
Nawaf Ali H. Alwazzan, 25, of Parkland said the wind shoved the Cessna 172 through a barbed-wire fence before one of the plane's wings hit a palm tree, the report said. The craft flipped upside down and landed in a ditch about 12 miles southeast of Okeechobee.
The Federal Aviation Administration in Miami notified the sheriff's office of the crash in the 27,000 block of Southwest Martin Highway just after 11:30 a.m., the report said.
Alwazzan's right hand was injured slightly in the crash, prompting Martin County Fire Rescue workers to be called to the pasture, the report said. Neither of the Fort Lauderdale men who were passengers in the plane was hurt. Robert C. Brady, 29, had been sitting in the back of the four-seater and Victor James Voorheis, 75, was the front-seat passenger, it said.
The county fire department's hazardous materials unit was called when jet fuel was spotted leaking into water in the ditch, the report said.
Voorheis had been planning to hunt on the property Tuesday, the report said, and the three had intended to land on the property, take back off and then return the next day for the hunt.
The investigation has been turned over to the FAA, which has said the plane is registered to Reef Flyer Inc. of Pompano Beach.