Two men were listed in critical condition on Jan. 12, after the plane they were in crashed in Winter Haven.

The two adults on board the plane at the time of the crash were 77-year-old John “Jack” Hamilton, of Elizabethton, Tenn., a licensed pilot, and 22-year-old Landen MacFarland, of Stuart, a flight instructor.

At approximately 2:30 p.m., the two-seater Seaplane (1946 Yellow Piper J3C-65 SN: 16133, N88509) attempted to land on Lake Smart. 

Shortly after the pontoons landed on the lake, one of the wings dipped into the water causing the plane to catapult upward approximately 50 feet before crashing nose first into an orange grove about 40 yards from Lake Smart, according to a Polk County Sheriff’s Office press release. The Sheriff’s Office Emergency Communications Center received several 911 calls about the crash, and Winter Haven Police, Winter Haven Fire and Sheriff’s Office deputies immediately responded to the area.

Hamilton was visiting the Orlando area from Tennessee. He arrived at the Jack Brown Seaplane Base in Winter Haven and requested to fly with an instructor for a refresher course, Sheriff’s Office officials said.

Both pilots were transported to a local hospital where they were listed in critical condition.

No one on the ground was injured.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating the plane crash.

Recommended for you