Officials ID pilot killed in fiery Hollywood plane crash

NTSB: Pilot had less than 20 hours experience on banner plane

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Police have identified the pilot killed in a deadly banner plane crash on North Park Road in Hollywood Wednesday.

Amid the federal investigation into the cause of a small plane crash, clean-up crews were working where the pilot of a Piper PA-25 Pawnee died on Wednesday.

Hollywood police identified the pilot as 28-year-old Mitchell Knaus Thursday afternoon.

Witnesses said the pilot never came out of the single-engine Piper PA-25-235 after the fiery crash at about 12:45 p.m. in Hollywood.

Knaus departed at about 12:25 p.m., from North Perry Airport, in Pembroke Pines, according to the FlightAware database, which also reports the plane with tail N430AB is owned by Aerial Banners.

Federal officials also provided an update Thursday. The Federal Aviation Administration reported the National Transportation Safety Board was leading the investigation.

Authorities with the NTSB said Knaus had 325 hours of total flight experience and less than 20 hours of experience flying the banner plane that crashed.

“The pilot held a commercial pilots certificate with several ratings,” NTSB investigator Bryan Rayner said.

The plane was operated by Aerial Banners Inc. A representative for the company said it could not comment when Local 10 News visited North Perry Airport Thursday.

Local 10 News has previously covered the company’s history of plane crashes in South Florida. In March 2019, another Aerial Banner pilot was killed when his plane slammed into a condo in Fort Lauderdale.

Officials are asking witnesses to send any video they may have of the crash to

Editor’s note: Hollywood police corrected its misidentification of the victim Thursday afternoon. The article has been updated with the correct spelling of his name.

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About the Authors:

Saira Anwer joined the Local 10 News team in July 2018. Saira is two-time Emmy-nominated reporter and comes to South Florida from Madison, Wisconsin, where she was working as a reporter and anchor.

Ian Margol joined the Local 10 News team in July 2016 as a general assignment reporter. Born in Miami Beach and raised in Broward County, Ian is thrilled to be back home in South Florida.