UPDATE: Pilot Killed in Plane Crash at Cypress Creek Preserve Identified

The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office has located a small plane that crashed last night off Ehren Cutoff Road.

Update 9:20 p.m.: The Pasco Sheriff's Office has positively identified the pilot who died in the plane crash as 59-year-old Harold Cameron MacManus of Tennessee.

MacManus was the brother of Dr. Susan MacManus, a WFLA News Channel 8 political analyst and University of South Florida professor, according to wfla.com.


Pasco County Sheriff’s deputies have found the wreckage of a plane that crashed last night, Feb. 24, off Ehren Cutoff Road in the Cypress Creek Preserve wellfield area. The crash scene is about two miles into the preserve. 

The sheriff’s office was told earlier today the plane possibly few out of Tampa Executive Airport and went down sometime in the night. A relative of the pilot contacted authorities after they hadn't heard from him after takeoff. The male pilot was the only person on board the plane and was killed in the crash, according to Pasco County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Melanie Snow. The pilot was a resident of Tennessee and was flying back to Tennessee when the plane went down. She would only say that the plane was a "small aircraft" and that the pilot's identity was not being released because next of kin had not been notified. 

Snow said deputies received a phone call at 2:30 a.m. Monday, Feb. 25 when someone said they heard a loud noise and and another caller at 9 a.m. reported hearing something they thought may have been a plane crash. Searches in the area of those two calls did not turn up any evidence of a crash.

Later in the day, a local media helicopter was in the area and spotted the wreckage. As of Monday evening, the scene was still active and wreckage is on fire and spread across a wide area, Snow said.

At 4:15 p.m. today, Feb. 25, the sheriff's office issued a media release saying a plane had been found in the well fields off Ehren Cutoff.

"The Pasco Sheriff's Office is assisting Fire Rescue and our units on scene confirm a debris field has been located," Snow wrote in the media release. "The scene is still active and part of the wreckage is on fire."

The investigation will be turned over to the National Transportation and Safety Board and Federal Aviation Authority.

Stay with Land O’ Lakes Patch for updates as they become available.

Editor Keli Sipperley contributed to this report.

Robert Scovill February 26, 2013 at 01:46 PM
Why did the NTSB walk away from their own Safety Recommendation, A-83-6, after closing it with the status, CLOSED UNACCEPTABLE ACTION? Why did FAA Safety Recommendations 99.283 & 99.284 about undetectable water in Cessna integral fuel tanks vanish into thin air? What prompted FAA SAIB CE-10-40R1 issued July 30, 2010 and SAIB CE-12-06 issued November 2, 2011 both warning pilots about the hazards associated with water contamination of Cessna fuel tank systems? Why did the NTSB ignore my Petition about this anomaly? http://www.sumpthis.com/ntsbpetition/ntsbpetitioncontents.htm Aircraft takes off and changes it attitude. When it takes off and changes its attitude could water hiding in the fuel tank then change its attitude? Could this water in the fuel tank leave its hiding place after takeoff and make its way to the engine fuel pick-up? The NTSB has written off engine failures in General Aviation Aircraft well over six thousand four hundred eighteen times with the probable cause of UNDETERMINED. If the NTSB cannot get a handle on the simplicity of air, spark, compression and UNCONTAMINATED FUEL, maybe the NTSB should ask a good old country boy mechanic. Do not believe blindly in the FAA certification where the pre-flight procedure and checking the sump for water in the fuel tanks. How often have you witnessed any water in your sump cup? Could your answer be a clue?


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