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2 hurt in plane crash at St. Augustine airport

Authorities say the Cessna's landing gear malfunctioned during takeoff

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – A man and woman were hurt when a small plane crashed Tuesday morning just off Runway 13 at the Northeast Florida Regional Airport, according to the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the Cessna plane was trying to take off when its landing gear malfunctioned. The plane veered left, lost altitude, made a crash landing on the runway and veered into the grass.

The pilot and passenger, ages 76 and 73, were taken to Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville for treatment of minor injuries, troopers said.

Aviation expert Ed Booth identified the plane as a Cessna 337 Skymaster, a twin-engine, twin-tail aircraft.

"Looks like one of the main gear became unlocked and folded up," Booth said. "The plane has a troublesome main landing gear that has to swivel before it folds to the rear."

The FHP is investigating and expected to release more information throughout the day.

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