Pilot in Leesburg plane crash identified

Small plane crashes into woods near airport, officials say

LEESBURG, Fla. - A Crescent City pilot died on Christmas Even when his small plane in Leesburg, WKMG-TV reported.

Officials said the twin-engine Piper PA31 plane crashed around 2:30 p.m. Monday in the area of Dennis Road, just four miles north of Leesburg Municipal Airport.

Officials said one pilot died at the crash scene and another patient was airlifted to Orlando Regional Medical Center with critical injuries.

WKMG-TV has learned the pilot was John Fetcko. His father, who lives in Marion County, told WKMG that Fetcko's wife, Julie, was the passenger and she is expected to be OK.

An airport official said the plane may have run out of fuel and it was trying to land before it crashed.

Witnesses say they saw the plane drop from the sky and land behind a field in the remote section of Lake County. One witness said she's used to noise from planes, but the sound of the crash was distinct.

The plane that crashed was registered to Fetcko, according to FAA records.

According to his wife's business website, John Fetcko flew as a hobby, but also restored planes for a career.

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