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Pilot dies in small plane crash

Martin County Sheriff's Office
Martin County Sheriff’s Office

PALM CITY, FL– One person is dead and another person was injured in a small plane crash in Palm City over the weekend.
The incident occurred at 3:30 p.m. inside a private ranch on SW 48th Terrace.
Authorities say the single-engine propeller plane crashed into the private ranch after taking off from one of the two runways at the Naked Lady Ranch.
Eduardo Casillas, a good Samaritan who suffered burns while trying to rescue the pilot from the plane, told authorities that he believes the pilot was alive following the crash.
“It looked like to us he was still moving and we just wanted to get in there, try to get in the other side of the plane,” he said. “I had my knife ready to cut the straps and pull him out but the flames just billowed up and pushed us back out.”
The victim has since been identified as 69-year-old Paul Skilowitz of Palm City.
Authorities say they believe Skilowitz, a well-known businessman, may have been travel North but it is hard to tell due to the condition of the plane:
“We can’t even recognize the N number on the back of the aircraft. It’s that severely damaged,” Chief Deputy John Budensiek said. “There was a significant amount of impact. You can see where the plane went through a wired fence which wasn’t that significant but because of the way that the ditches and the swells were built, it looks like he went nose into one of those swells, flipped his plane, and caught on fire.”
The National Transportation Safety Board is one of the agencies investigating the cause of the crash.