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Pilot injured after banner plane crashes at North Perry Airport

Owner of crashed banner plane speaks to CBS News Miami
Owner of crashed banner plane speaks to CBS News Miami 01:47

FORT LAUDERDALE -- The pilot of a banner plane crash was hurt when the small aircraft crash-landed Thursday afternoon at North Perry Airport in Pembroke Pines, the second crash of a banner plane  in as many weeks. 

The pilot, who was not immediately identified, was rushed for treatment to Memorial Regional Hospital, where he was listed in serious but stable condition, according to the Pembroke Pines Fire Department. A spokesman said he had "significant injuries."

Plane crash scene
Chopper 4 was live over the scene after a small banner plane crashed Thursday afternoon. CBS News Miami

Live video from the scene showed a mostly intact aircraft down on the ground and surrounded by several first responders immediately after the accident, which occurred after 12 p.m. at the airport, located at 101 SW 77th Way.

Crews had a stretcher at the site and they appeared to be talking to someone inside the small plane.

Authorities said the pilot was the only person on board the plane when it went down and no other injuries or hazards were reported from the crash.

Fire crews had to extricate the victim from the wreckage, according to officials.

It was the second crash of a banner plane from Aerial Banners in recent days.

A 28-year-old man was killed when a banner plane crashed May 17 on a road to a Hollywood strip shopping center. 

That plane was operated by Aerial Banners and piloted by Mitchell Knaus, 28, who was killed during the incident.

Authorities said the cause of the crash was under investigation.

A spokesman for the FAA said both the FAA and the NTSB would investigate. The FAA should have a preliminary report on Friday.

Records show that there have been three other crashes of banner plans from Aerial Banners in the past decade.

In 2019, a banner plane hit an 18-story building in Fort Lauderdale and fell several floors on to an outdoor pool deck. The pilot died.

Records also show that in March of 2015 a pilot crashed in to marsh water some 3 miles west of U.S. 27 and in March of 2014, another plane crashed in to a lake in northeast Miami-Dade near I-95 after there were engine problems. The pilots in both cases did survive.

CBS News Miami's Peter D'Oench spoke with Bob Benyo, the owner of Aerial Banners Inc.

Benyo was asked about the latest accident and said, "It's horrible, especially in light of the last accident. Our prayers are with the pilot who is hospitalized. We expect him to make a full recovery and he is in our prayers. He was doing a banner operation and he did not pick up a banner. I don't know what happened. I will not speculate."

He was asked about the accident on May 17th and he said, "It was horrible and that is under investigation on what the probable cause was. We are expecting a preliminary report in the next couple of weeks."

Benyo did not identify the pilot who was injured on Thursday but he did say, "He had over 1.000 hours of flying and he was very experienced. He has been with our company for over a year."

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