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NTSB Says Bad Propeller Might Have Played Role in Florida Plane Crash

Faulty maintenance work could have been the cause of a plane crash that killed four people, according to an initial report from the National Transportation Safety Board.

A Beech 1900C, registered in Venezuela, took off from the Miami Executive Airport in Miami, Florida on February 11th. The plane began to climb in elevation but the pilot radioed the tower and reported an “engine failure.” He explained that one of the engines had lost power. The pilot tried to turn the plane around and return to the airport, but the plane quickly fell to the ground around two miles from the airport.

A witness saw the plane struggling to keep altitude and thought the pilot was trying to set the plane down in a nearby field. But it clipped a telephone pole, causing the pilot to lose control of the aircraft. The plane exploded upon impact and was completely destroyed.

Pilot Raul Chirivella and co-pilot Roberto Cavaniel, and passengers Juan Carlos Betancourt and Francisco DiMarco were killed in the accident. The plane had been en route to the Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean. A relative said the plane had brought the businessmen to Miami for a meeting.

According to report from the National Transportation Safety Board, the Beech 1900C plane was manufactured in 1988 and was a twin propeller plane. The Beech 1900C seats 19 people and has traditionally been used as a regional commercial plane.

The NTSB reviewed the maintenance records and found that the left propeller needed standard maintenance. The work took place just prior to the crash. “It was removed and replaced with the overhauled propeller prior to the flight, and the accident flight was the first flight after the overhauled propeller was installed on the left engine,” the report said. Witnesses described the plane was flying low “with the left wing down and the left propeller turning slower than the right propeller, before the aircraft impacted the utility pole.”

The NTSB recovered the engines and propellers and is examining the wreckage. The flight data recorder was also recovered and is being analyzed. A full NTSB report should be available in a few months.

If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of faulty maintenance or care, contact the Law Offices of James O. Cunningham, P.A. immediately at 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587) for a free initial consultation.

James O. Cunningham

Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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