The Bay County Sheriff's Office released the name of the pilot involved in Monday's plane crash in West Bay. Deputies identified the pilot as James Land of Panama City.
"As we responded, we located the single engine plane that was sitting here also with the male that was sitting inside it and suffered some minor injuries," Sergeant Myron Guilford said.
According to Federal Aviation Administration records, Land was flying a Piper PA-25. An FAA spokesperson says the pilot was flying the plane back to the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport, but crashed two miles away after losing power.
Hazmat crews were sent as a precaution to the area of Vinson Road and Highway 79.
The plane registered under Aerial Banners, a company based out of Pembroke Pines in Broward County, was built in 1965; you'll usually see it flying above area beaches, serving as an advertisement for Geico.
"It unknown or undetermined if he had a banner, didn't have a banner all we know is that the plane was down," Guilford said.
Authorities spent some time trying to locate the possible banner, but didn't find it. News 13 contacted the owners of the plane and declined to comment. However, the Sheriff's Office says the company is sending a crew to retrieve the plane to continue its own investigation.
It is customary for the FAA to inspect the aircraft, as it does with every accident. There is no word on when that will take place. As for the pilot, he only suffered minor injuries and is expected to be ok.
The Bay County Sheriff's Office and the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport Police are on scene of a banner plane crash west of the airport this afternoon.
According to the BCSO, one person was on the small banner plan when it went down in the area of Vinson Road and State 79 in Bay County. There was no major explosion or fire in the crash.
The pilot of the airplane was transported to a local hospital with unknown injuries.
According the FAA website, the plane is registered to Aerial Banners Inc. of Pembroke Pines, FL. It was made in 1965 and had its last airworthiness check in May of 2002
News 13 will have more information on the crash later tonight on Live at Five and News 13 at 6.
A banner plane has crashed west of the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport.
Airport management has confirmed that the plane went down, but not on airport property.
News 13 has a reporter headed to the scene. Stay tuned for details tonight on News 13 Live at Five and News 13 at 6.