Port Richey, Florida -- A small stunt plane crashed into the water in Pasco County on Monday afternoon, killing the pilot.
Photo Gallery: Stunt plane crash in Port Richey
The pilot has been identified as 33-year-old John Paul Donnenfield, who lived by the Hidden Lake Airport where his plane took off around 11:30 a.m. Port Richey Police Officer Gerard Decanio says Donnenfield's wife, toddler, and in-laws were watching him as he practiced stunts in his single-seat, double winged acrobatic aircraft.
According to the spokesperson for Hidden Lake Airport, Donnenfield was passionate about flying and got along with all the other pilots who used the airport. He had often practiced along the stretch of the Gulf of Mexico near Brasher Park where his plane crashed about 200 yards from the shore.
"I did get three witnesses that all concur he was doing stunts over the Gulf of Mexico and that his last maneuver, he tried to pull up and apparently the aircraft lost power or stalled," Decanio says. "We can't confirm that yet, but it did crash on his last maneuver while trying to pull up from the maneuver."
Aerial footage showed the aircraft fully submerged in the shallow water, with significant damage. The FAA says the the plane is a Pitts S-1D biplane.
Pasco Fire Rescue pronounced Donnenfield dead on the scene.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.