MIAMI - The widows of two of four Venezuelan men killed when a small airplane crashed in Kendall in February have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the company that owned the Beech 1900C aircraft.
The lawsuits seek damages in excess of $15,000 from Aeropanamericano, C.A., for the deaths of Juan Carlos Ventencourt De Lima, 57, and Francisco DiMarco Vegas, 36.
Authorities identified the other victims killed as Raul Chirivella, who was the pilot, and Roberto Cavaniel.
Authorities said the men were in town on business to pick up plane parts and were returning to Venezuela.
Aviation officials said the plane left Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport and was trying to return after an engine apparently failed.
According to the complaint, "Reasonably skilled pilots of multi-engine aircraft are expected and required to be able to safely handle situations in which one of the two engines fails by flying the aircraft to the nearest available airfield or, in this instance, by returning to the airfield from which the aircraft had taken off."
The complaint also alleges that, "The subject aircraft was designed to be able to fly with only one engine functioning and was designed such that a reasonably skilled pilot can continue to fly the plane safely with only one engine functioning in order to land at the nearest available airfield or return to an airfield from which it has taken off."
The four men were on the twin engine Beechcraft 1900 headed for the Turks and Caicos, which is a common pit stop for planes heading to Venezuela.
Aviation officials said the plane hit a utility pole before crashing to the ground and catching fire.
It's unclear what caused the plane's engine to fail.
NTSB Identification: ERA15FA129
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, February 11, 2015 in Miami, FL
Aircraft: BEECH 1900C, registration: YV1674
Injuries: 4 Fatal.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On February 11, 2015, at 1439 eastern standard time, a Beech 1900C, Venezuelan registration VY1674, registered to and operated by Aeropanamericano, C.A., was destroyed during collision with terrain, following a loss of engine thrust during initial climb from Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport (KTMB), Miami, Florida. The two foreign certificated pilots and two passengers were fatally injured. The repositioning flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the planned flight to Providenciales International Airport (MBPV), Providenciales, Turks and Caicos.
The twenty-one-seat airplane, serial number UC-47, was manufactured in 1988. It was powered by two Pratt and Whitney Canada PT6A-65B, 1,100 horsepower engines, equipped with four-blade, controllable-pitch, Hartzell HC-B4MP-3C propellers. Review of maintenance records revealed that the left engine propeller had been due for overhaul. It was removed and replaced with an overhauled propeller prior to the accident flight and the accident flight was the first flight after the overhauled propeller was installed on the left engine.
Review of radar and communication data from the Federal Aviation Administration revealed that the flight was cleared for takeoff at 1436:45. At 1438:15, one of the pilots reported an "engine failure" to air traffic control. The controller asked the pilot if he would like to return to the airport and the pilot replied affirmative. The controller then offered a 180-degree turn to runway 9R and the pilot requested a left traffic pattern to runway 27L, which the controller approved; however, the airplane subsequently impacted a utility pole and terrain about 2 miles west of the runway. Review of radar data revealed that six targets were recorded during the accident flight. The first target was recorded at 1438:18, at an altitude of 200 feet mean sea level (msl) about 1,000 feet beyond the departure end of runway 27L. The next three targets indicated a slight left turn at 300 feet msl. The fifth target indicated a continued slight left turn at 200 feet msl. The last target was recorded at 1439:19, indicating 100 feet msl, next to the utility pole that was struck. Witnesses observed the airplane flying low, with the left wing down and the left propeller turning slower than the right propeller, before the airplane impacted the utility pole.
The airplane came to rest upright in a field against several trees, oriented about a magnetic heading of 110 degrees. The beginning of a debris path was observed near a severed utility pole where scrape marks across the adjacent road were consistent with left wingtip contact. Additionally, sections of left propeller blades were located near the utility pole and along the debris path, consistent with the left propeller impacting the utility pole as the left wingtip was scraping the ground. The debris path extended about 240 feet, on a magnetic heading of 240 degrees, to the main wreckage.
A postcrash fire consumed a majority of the cockpit and cabin. The horizontal stabilizer, vertical stabilizer, elevator, and rudder remained intact and were charred. The left and right wing mid-sections had been consumed by fire. The wing flaps and landing gear were in the retracted position. The right propeller remained attached to the right engine and all four composite propeller blades separated at the hub. The right engine exhaust duct exhibited torsional bending and compression. The left propeller remained attached to the left engine and two of the four composite propeller blades had separated at the hub. The other two blades separated about 1 foot from the hub. The left engine exhaust duct exhibited some compression. Both engines and propellers were retained for further examination. The airplane was equipped with a cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder, which were forwarded to the NTSB Recorders Laboratory, Washington, D.C., for readout.
The recorded weather at KTMB, at 1453, was: wind from 030 degrees at 5 knots; sky clear; visibility 10 miles; temperature 23 degrees C; dew point 10 degrees C, altimeter 29.96 inches of mercury.