Aircraft rapidly descended after losing power

MACCLENNY, Fla. – The Florida Highway Patrol said a 53-year-old Jacksonville pilot was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries after his homemade aircraft crashed Saturday night in Baker County.

The Times-Union reported that the pilot was in critical condition when taken to the hospital following the 5:39 p.m. crash near the north Florida town of Macclenny.

Officials said the pilot was alone when the single-engine red aircraft crashed. Nobody on the ground was injured, state troopers said, and the pilot’s name wasn’t released.

The pilot was flying east from a hanger when the aircraft lost power. When the pilot turned the aircraft to fly west back to the hanger, that’s when he started to rapidly descend. The nose of the craft struck the ground and injured the pilot, officials said.

The craft was not registered with the Federal Aviation Administration, which said it is not investigating the crash because it doesn’t handle incidents involving unregistered aircraft.

The Highway Patrol and the Baker County Sheriff’s Office are investigating.