An aircraft caught fire shortly after taking off from a Georgetown airport yesterday afternoon.
Around 2 p.m. yesterday, Saturday, Jan. 28, 59-year-old Donald Byrne, of Lusby, Md., had just taken off in a single-engine plane from Delaware Coastal Airport at 21553 Rudder Lane, Georgetown. After reaching about 1,400 feet, the plane's cockpit began to fill with smoke. Byrne was able to bring the plane back to the airport, where just prior to landing, fire became visible in the cockpit. Upon landing, Byrne jumped from the plane while it was in motion. The plane came to rest in a grassy area a short distance away before becoming fully engulfed in flames.
Byrne was removed from the scene by ambulance to Beebe Healthcare, where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
The investigation by the Delaware State Police and the Federal Aviation Administration is ongoing. The cause of the fire is unknown.