Ad Plane Crashes Near University of Florida Football Game

A plane towing an advertising banner for GEICO crashed on the University of Florida campus Saturday, October 5, 2013, according to law enforcement at the scene.

University of Florida police reported the single-engine Cessna 172 lost power while flying over Gainesville and the pilot was able to release the banner before crashing into vehicles parked at Flavet Field.

The crash occurred just after 4 p.m. local time, when the pilot, Graham Hill, 28, and his passenger, Ian Conrad, 26, started experiencing trouble with the plane.

Police said the two men were found outside the plane when crews arrived on the scene. The men were transported to the University of Florida Health, Gainesville, with non-life threatening injuries.

No one on the ground was injured but one pick-up truck was badly damaged. A Gainesville Fire Rescue spokesperson said the pilot was able to avoid “a mass casualty event.”

An image of this plane is on the Facebook page of a company called Beach Banners of Jacksonville, Florida. Another Beach Banners plane suffered a similar incident in January, 2012, when it crash landed in a shopping center parking lot killing the pilot.

The Alachua County Sheriff’s Office aviation unit will complete the investigation into the cause of the crash.

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