NTSB investigating plane crash that killed 2 during movie shoot - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

NTSB investigating plane crash that killed 2 during movie shoot

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The National Transportation Safety Board is now investigating a deadly plane crash in Summerfield.  It happened just before 8 p.m. Sunday in a field off of SE 140th Street. 

"We saw the plane flying low.  All of a sudden the last pass around the sound stopped and it just dropped like a rock," said neighbor Janet Crandall.

Crandall watched the single engine experimental amateur aircraft crash into the field near her home.  Investigators say Dennis Monroe, 65, and Josepha Sardinas, 70, died on impact.  Monroe was flying the plane while Sardinas was shooting aerials of the field below for a low budget zombie movie. 

"We were wrapping up.  It was the final scene," said Jackie Azis, who was working as an extra for the film.  She says she and several actors and the crew were waiting on the plane to land.  "I was watching it.  I've never seen anything like it."

Marion County sheriff's deputies interviewed dozens of people who watched the plane go down. 

"Witness statements indicate that the plane took off.  It took a banking turn came over the barn and pretty much the engine just stalled out and the airplane took kind of a nose dive came down hard on its front end," Captain James Pogue.

The NTSB will be looking at those statements and following up.  NTSB investigators spent the afternoon looking at the crash scene…they're hoping footage being shot in the cockpit will provide some answers.  

"Any video that may be on board we will treat like black box cock pit recorder," said Dennis Diaz.  

Neighbors tell us the pilot has been flying for years and that he built the aircraft himself.  Investigators say Monroe crashed on his own property, near the area that he built as a runway.  He worked as a city official in Belleview. 

Sardinas was a retired professor from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.  He consulted in information technologies and specialized in electronic data processing and security.  His brother tells us Sardinas was having the time of his life getting into his longtime passion, cinematography. 

"He was having a ball," said Anthony Sardinas. 

Sardinas' wife was on the set of the movie Sunday night.  Anthony says she watched the plane go down, then rushed out to the field to give her husband CPR, but he was too far gone.  Their entire family is still in shock and deeply saddened by the loss. 

"He was a good friend, he was a wonderful brother, great father great grandfather.  You would've liked him.  He was a very good guy," said Anthony Sardinas as tears started pouring out of his eyes.  "If you have to go, going doing something you love, maybe it's not that bad," he said, trying to come to grips with is grief.   

The NTSB says they will release a preliminary report on what the cause in 10 days.

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