OAK HILL, Fla. (WFLA) – A 78-year-old pilot has died weeks after crashing his home-built plane in the woods off of Maytown Road in Oak Hill.
According to the Volusia Sheriff’s Office, the pilot, Vincent Grasso of Palm Bay, had just taken off from a nearby private airport around 5 p.m. before his plane plunged into the woods.
A short time later, deputies were called to the crash site located near a home in the 1400 block of Maytown Road. When they arrived, officials found parts of the homemade aircraft in trees 15 to 29 feet off the ground, while other parts were strewn across the woods.
Once rescuers extracted Grasso, he was flown to a Daytona Beach hospital with serious injures. According to reports, the pilot was reported to be in stable condition when he was evacuated.
After the crash, witnesses told deputies they heard the airplane and saw it make “two large left bank turns, then backfire and the engine cut off.” One witness said the airplane disappeared below the tree line while another witness said she heard a loud noise upon impact.
When homeowners arrived at the scene, they found the home-built plane upside down in a tree. Deputies reported the pilot appeared conscious when they arrived on the scene, and was still strapped into his seat.
After Grasso was rescued, the wreckage of the home-built “Legal Eagle” ultralight aircraft was removed.
The Volusia Sheriff’s Office announced on Twitter that Grasso has died on Monday, two weeks after the wreck.
“We’re sad to report that the hospitalized pilot in the Jan. 31 plane crash has died,” the sheriff’s office wrote.” Our detectives and the FAA continue to investigate the crash. The VSO offers sincerest condolences to his family.”