Pilot killed in Lancaster County plane crash

March 30, 2013 8:48:20 PM PDT
Officials say a pilot was killed when a plane crashed shortly after takeoff in Lancaster County.

The crash happened around 5:45 p.m. Saturday after the plane left Smoketown Airport.

Authorities say the plane caught fire near Old Philadelphia Pike and Mt. Sidney Road.

According to Witmer Fire Chief Matt Bono, the plane crashed into an abandoned mobile home next to the airport.

"You couldn't make out the plane very well and since it crashed into a home you couldn't tell what was going on," said Chief Bono.

Chopper 6 HD was on scene as crews pulled the pilot's body from the wreckage. He was the only person on-board the recreational aircraft.

Police say the victim, a licensed pilot in his 30s, died at the scene.

A law enforcement source along with a family friend of the victim tells Action News his name is Michael Blank, a man who loved to fly.

The friend, who is Amish and did not want to show his face on camera, says Blank's family, also Amish, will look to their faith for answers.

"We're not in charge of our lives, God is. He can take us anytime he wants," he said.

Ultralight aircrafts are not registered planes but because it was a deadly crash the FAA will be investigating.

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