An amphibious kitplane crashed near the runway at Sebring Regional Airport in Florida during the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo Jan. 16, killing the two men aboard. The pilot and passenger were both associated with the kit manufacturer Aero Adventure, and both experienced aviators, according to family members interviewed by local media.
Witnesses told AVweb that the left elevator was seen fluttering prior to the crash. The NTSB is investigating the accident.
The Highlands County Sheriff’s Office identified the pilot as Dennis Gordon Day, 56, of Groveland, Florida. Jason Reid Spinks, 44, of Orlando, was also killed. Rescue crews found the aircraft in a grassy area near the northeast corner of the runway, police said.
Spinks’ uncle told a local television station that the aircraft had just taken off when it banked to the right and nose-dived into the ground near the end of the runway.
Spinks, the director of sales and marketing at the Rockledge, Florida-based company, was recently married, according to local media. Aero Adventure has produced ultralight and larger kitbuilt amphibians in single- and two-seat configurations since the mid 1990s.
Witnesses are asked to contact the Highlands County Sheriff at 863/402-7200.