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Pinellas plane crash; pilot missing

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SAINT PETERSBURG, Fla. – A banner plane crashed into the water, not far from the Suncoast. It happened around three this afternoon near Albert Whitted Airport in Saint Petersburg.

The pilot of the single-seat aircraft died in the crash. His identity has not yet been released.

The plane belongs to an advertisement banner-towing company based at the airport. Witnesses report hearing a popping noise coming from the plane after it began its ascent.

The plane then apparently nose dived into the water. We'll bring you updates on this story as they become available.