CLEARWATER – Three people died Saturday afternoon when the airplane they were in crashed into Tampa Bay as it approached the St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport.
According to detectives with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, the Cessna 172 airplane was approaching the airport about 3:30 p.m. when it crashed short of a runway into the waters of Tampa Bay.
The pilot was Joseph P. Bellamy, 31, of Pinellas Park. Also onboard were the pilot’s parents, Gordon D. Bellamy, 55, and Susan C. Bellamy, 53, of Palatka, Fla. The bodies of all three victims were recovered from the submerged airplane by divers.
Deputies said the plane was owned by the Pinellas Pilots Association.
A crash investigation will be conducted by the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board. Questions regarding the cause of the crash should be directed to those agencies.