A 73-year-old Florida man died Tuesday after crashing the single-engine homemade plane he was piloting, authorities said.
The crash happened at about 3:30 p.m. after Charles Alban traded planes with another pilot for a Taylor Monoplane earlier in the day, the Volusia County Sheriff's Office said.
"On attempting to take off, he lost control and struck a tree," the sheriff's office said.
Alban was taken to a hospital where he died from unspecified injuries.
Witnesses said Alban taxied the plane several times at the Blue Ridge Flightpark Airport until he got comfortable with it. Once he got comfortable, he headed south on the airstrip and planned to fly home to Venice, Florida, the sheriff's office said.
"However, the plane did not appear to climb into the air and suddenly veered left for unknown reasons, hitting the tree," authorities said.
The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration are investigating.