Plane Crashes Into Tampa Skyscraper

TAMPA, Fla.?A 15-year-old student pilot took off in a small plane without permission Saturday and crashed into a skyscraper after ignoring a Coast Guard helicopter’s signals to land, authorities said.

The crash occurred after Charles Bishop’s grandmother took him to the National Aviation Academy flight school for a 5 p.m. flying lesson, said Marianne Pasha, a Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman.

She said an instructor told Bishop to check the plane’s equipment before the lesson.

“The next thing the instructor knew he was gone,” Pasha said.

Though terrorism was quickly discounted, the televised image of a plane blasting a hole in the side of a skyscraper was a chilling reminder of the World Trade Center attacks. The plane’s tail dangled near the 28th floor of the 42-story Bank of America building.

One person was killed, but officials would not immediately confirm it was Bishop.