Polk State is mourning loss of student and flight instructor

Posted on by Polk Newsroom

Polk State College is mourning the loss of private pilot and student Zachary Mace and Sunrise Aviation flight instructor Faith Baker after a plane crash Tuesday afternoon over Lake Hartridge in Winter Haven.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office identified two small airplanes as a Cherokee fixed-wing plane operated by Sunrise Aviation on behalf of Polk State, and a Piper J3 Cub Seaplane operated by Jack Brown’s Seaplane Base.

“Our Polk State College family is devastated by this tragedy,” Polk State President Angela Garcia Falconetti said. “We extend our deepest condolences to their families, friends, and colleagues.”

Polk State is offering support on its campuses, by phone, and virtually through the BayCare Student Assistance Program and the Employee Assistance Program.

The Sheriff’s Office’s investigation into the crash is ongoing. The College will provide more information as it becomes available.