WINTER HAVEN — A plane crashed in an orange grove near Lake Smart on Wednesday, seriously injuring the two adults on board, the Polk County Sheriff's Office said.
While trying to land on Lake Smart, one of the wings of the two-seat seaplane dipped into the water, causing the plane to catapult upward 50 feet before crashing into an orange grove about 40 yards from the lake, the Sheriff's Office said.
Winter Haven police and Winter Haven fire rescue responded to the incident along with PCSO deputies.
Licensed pilot John "Jack" Hamilton, 77, of Elizabethton, Tennessee, and flight instructor Landen MacFarland, 22, of Stuart were taken to a local hospital and were treated for serious injuries, officials said. Both men are reportedly in critical condition.
The Sheriff's Office said no one on the ground was injured.
PCSO said Hamilton was visiting the Orlando area from Tennessee. He went to the Jack Brown Seaplane Base in Winter Haven and asked to fly with an instructor for a refresher course, the agency said.
The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the plane crash.
This article originally appeared on The Ledger: 2 in critical condition after seaplane crash in Winter Haven grove