A 68-year-old Carrabelle man whose small plane went down in the woods near the Carrabelle Airport Monday morning died later that afternoon.
Greg Newman was unconscious inside of his Sonex two-seater aircraft when Carrabelle Office Brice Carlson and Sheriff’s Deputy Wade Blevins found him in Tate’s Hell State Forest about 250 yards from the runway, said Amber Jochim, Carrabelle’s deputy police chief.
She said a Weems Memorial Hospital ambulance responded to the call, and that Newman was flown by helicopter to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. He passed away shortly before 5 p.m.
Carlson and Blevins responded to the call about 11:25 a.m., Jochim said.
“People in the hangar said they saw the plane having engine troubles after takeoff and it went down near the northeast end of the runway,” she said.
According to details on the Federal Aviation Administration website, “ the aircraft experienced problem on departure and attempted to return to the airport. Aircraft banked hard and crashed in heavily wooded area.”
Private pilot Mark Nobles took to the air to scout from the sky, and helped identify where officers needed to go, Jochim said.
The officers trekked into the woods, and then carried Newman about 250 yards on a spinal board back to the airport.
Newman was a dedicated member of the five-person Carrabelle aviation advisory board.
“I have been friends with Greg for over 20 years and his positive outlook and love of life was always obvious,” wrote Tim Sullivan, the board chair, on Facebook. “Greg was Mr. Carrabelle Airport. Everyone who utilized the airport knew Greg; he would greet and chat with everyone. Greg enjoyed helping people any way he could.
“He volunteered his time daily to the airport. He would call almost every day and we would talk about what was going on at the airport. He was the main motivator to all the projects and maintenance at the airport. He was excited about all the progress that has been made and what the future will bring,” he wrote.