Investigators remove plane wreckage from Fort Lauderdale condo

Small banner plane slammed into building Friday

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Crews early Saturday removed the wreckage of a small banner plane that crashed into a Fort Lauderdale condo building Friday.

The pilot was killed when the plane slammed into the Berkley South Condos in the 3000 block of North Ocean Boulevard just before noon. Plane debris fell into the pool area of the building, but no one else was hurt.

The building's pool deck was undergoing renovations when the plane crashed.

“There were approximately 20 workers on the pool deck at the time of the incident. And once again thank goodness none of them were injured in any way and the plane did not catch fire,” said Stephen Gollan, a spokesman for the Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue.

The plane punched a hole in the building, toppling a dishwasher in one of the condo's apartments.

Investigators for the National Transportation Safety Board were on hand trying to determine what caused the plane to crash.

Tim Monville, an investigator with the NTSB, said the plane did not have a flight recorder, but he hopes they can recover the pilot's mobile phone, which could hold some navigational information.

The pilot has been identified by Fort Lauderdale police as Derek Morgan, 28.

“We're trying to come up with a plan to logistically examine the wreckage, the airplane and engine further,” Monville said.

The Piper PA-25 plane was registered to Aerial Banners Inc., which is based at North Perry Airport. The plane was set to fly along Fort Lauderdale beach.

Authorities closed the southbound lanes of North Ocean Boulevard between East Oakland Boulevard and Northeast 30th Street for several hours while crews remove the wreckage.