MANATEE — A Bradenton man in his 80s died Monday when the homemade ultralight plane he was piloting crashed off Buckeye Road and Grass Farm Road in northern Manatee County.
Until next of kin is identified, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office is not releasing the victim’s name.
Lt. Joe Perry of the sheriff’s office arrived at the accident scene about 15 minutes after the 4:15 p.m. crash and discovered the victim was deceased.
“The debris field was extensive,” Perry said. “The plane definitely came apart on impact. Two witnesses reported seeing smoke coming from the plane before it went down.”
People working cattle on the ranch talked to Perry.
“It was a single seat plane,” Perry said. “The victim had no crew there.”
Asked if the victim could have had a medical emergency that caused the crash, Perry said, “We’ll probable never know that. He definitely died on impact.”
The victim took off from Airport Manatee located at 14001 U.S. N., Palmetto. The Federal Aviation Administration will not be responding because the aircraft was homemade and experimental, the sheriff’s office said.