Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Beech 76 Duchess, N6709Y, Florida Aviation Academy: Accident occurred April 25, 2016 near Pompano Beach Airpark (KPMP), Broward County, Florida

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

NTSB Identification: ERA16FA170 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, April 25, 2016 in Pompano Beach, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/31/2017
Aircraft: BEECH 76, registration: N6709Y
Injuries: 3 Serious.

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.

The flight instructor was providing multiengine flight instruction to two students (who were both pilots), which included simulated engine failures over the course of two flights. The airplane landed, and the flight instructor told the accident pilot, who had only 2.4 hours experience in the accident airplane, that he wanted him to practice engine failures in the traffic pattern. The flight instructor advised the pilot to expect an engine failure during takeoff. While on the right crosswind leg of the airport traffic pattern, about 600 ft above ground level, the flight instructor retarded the right engine throttle lever, reducing the right engine power to idle. The pilot then pressed hard on the right (incorrect) rudder pedal with enough force that it moved the flight instructor's foot off the left rudder pedal. The airplane immediately rolled violently to the right before the flight instructor took control of the airplane; however, the airplane had entered a dive and the flight instructor was unable to recover before the airplane collided with a residence. The flight instructor is responsible for monitoring the students performance providing remedial action immediately if necessary. In this case, the instructor’s delayed remedial action did not allow for recovery before the airplane struck the residence. All three pilots stated that there were no preimpact mechanical malfunctions with the airplane and postaccident examination of the wreckage did not reveal any.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The flight instructor's failure to maintain airplane control while demonstrating a simulated engine failure. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's improper response to the simulated engine failure.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On April 25, 2016, at 1456 eastern daylight time, a Beech 76 twin-engine airplane, N6709Y, was destroyed shortly after takeoff from Pompano Beach Airpark (PMP), Pompano Beach, Florida. The flight instructor, the private pilot, and the private pilot-rated passenger were seriously injured. The airplane was operated by Florida Aviation Academy, Pompano Beach, Florida. Visual meteorological conditions were reported at the airport at the time of the accident and no flight plan was filed for the local flight that was operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an instructional flight.

The flight instructor stated that he was providing multi-engine instruction for two pilots who were enrolled at Florida Aviation Academy. The two pilots flew together, with one of them flying and the other observing the lesson from the back seat. The instructor said he provided ground instruction and briefed the flight before they departed. The pilot to fly on the day of the accident practiced several simulated single-engine emergencies before landing at a local airport. The two pilots then switched seats for the accident flight. The flight instructor said had the pilot practice numerous simulated engine failures before executing a single-engine instrument approach back to PMP. The approach terminated in a full stop landing on runway 10.

After landing, the instructor had the pilot taxi back to the runway because he wanted the pilot to practice simulated engine failures in the traffic pattern. Air traffic control (ATC) cleared them for takeoff and to make right closed traffic for runway 10. The instructor told the pilot before they departed to expect a right engine failure. He said, "About 600 ft, I proceeded to reduce the power on the right engine to simulate engine failure. [The pilot] then proceeded to stomp on the right rudder pedal with enough force to push through my guard of the left rudder pedal causing a violent roll and yaw to the right. I quickly took control and at this point the aircraft was pointed straight down at the ground. I brought both engines to idle and pulled out of the dive. Upon doing so we hit a house and ended up in the backyard of two other homes." The instructor said that if he had another 100 ft of altitude he would have recovered the airplane. The instructor reported that both engines were operating normally at the time of the upset and there were no mechanical problems with the airplane.

The pilot observing the flight from the rear seat stated that the flight instructor reviewed emergency procedures with both her and the accident pilot before the flight. She said the instructor "drilled it into their heads" that they needed to anticipate an engine failure at any moment and needed to be prepared. About an hour into the accident flight, the accident pilot executed a single-engine instrument approach into PMP, landed, and then taxied back to the runway for another departure.

The takeoff was normal, and the accident pilot made a right turn onto the crosswind leg of the airport traffic pattern. She was not sure of their altitude or if they had leveled out on the cross wind leg, but she saw the instructor reach over and pull the "left" engine throttle to idle while announcing they had an engine failure. The instructor immediately took control of the airplane, which had entered a steep, descending left hand turn toward the ground. The airplane momentarily leveled out, but they were too low to recover and impacted the ground.

The observing pilot said she did not remember the impact, but did recall being in the burning wreckage. The instructor had exited and was taking "baby steps" away from the airplane. The accident pilot was having difficulty removing his seatbelt, and she said she was yelling at the instructor for help, but it was too loud and she knew that he could not hear her. The accident pilot was eventually able to unlatch his lap belt and they exited the airplane. The observing pilot reported everything was normal prior to the upset and that there were no mechanical problems with the airplane or engines.

The accident pilot stated that he incurred a head injury during the accident and did not remember exact details; however, he recalled that he had performed several simulated single-engine out maneuvers before returning to PMP, where they did a "touch and go". During climb-out, at an altitude about 500 feet above ground level (agl), he began a right turn on to the crosswind leg of the traffic pattern. The pilot said the flight instructor then reached up and pulled "an engine," but he did not recall which one. The airplane then banked right and nosed over.

The next thing the pilot remembered was "waking up" in the airplane all alone and it was on fire. He said he was only wearing a lap belt and no shoulder harness. The pilot tried several times to release the lap belt buckle, but the buckle was underneath the seat and hard to reach. He said his fingers were burned and it was struggle to find and unlatch. The pilot was able to finally unlatch the buckle and exit the airplane. He said there were no mechanical issues with the airplane or engines prior to the upset. The pilot said the instructor never told him which engine he was going to fail before they departed because the instructor wanted him to feel which engine failed via the rudder pedals. This was the first time the instructor had simulated an engine failure on takeoff, and he had previously only practiced simulated single-engine out maneuvers at altitude.

Several people witnessed the accident, including two air traffic controllers, who were working in the PMP air traffic control tower at the time of the accident. According to one controller, after he cleared the airplane for takeoff, he watched it make a normal departure and right turn onto the crosswind leg of the traffic pattern. He said that when the airplane was about 400- to 500 feet agl, it made a sharp right turn followed by a sharp left turn and entered a steep nose down attitude toward the ground. The airplane then disappeared behind a tree line, before he saw an explosion. The controller did not hear the airplane but did recall that the airplane's landing gear was retracted. Another controller, who was working ground control, saw the airplane when it was on a right cross wind leg of the traffic pattern. He could not recall the airplane's altitude at that time, but said it made a "hard left turn from a southerly heading to a northerly heading" with the nose pointed down toward the ground. The controller said that just before the airplane disappeared behind trees, it appeared to level out. He then saw fire and smoke.

A flight instructor was practicing crosswind takeoffs and landings with a student on runway 15 when he first observed the accident airplane in the run-up area for runway 10. Since the runways converged near the departure end, ATC had instructed him and his student to make left traffic for runway 15. The instructor said he heard ATC clear the accident airplane for takeoff on runway 10 and to make right traffic. The instructor said they were turning left base-to-final leg on runway 15, when he saw the accident airplane depart runway 10 and begin its initial climb. After the airplane had turned right onto the right crosswind leg of the traffic pattern, at an altitude of about 600 feet agl, the right wing suddenly "dipped" down. The airplane then very rapidly rolled wings level and the nose of the airplane nosed over. The instructor said the airplane appeared to have insufficient power and just "sank." He described what he saw as a departure stall or the onset of a "VMC" roll, that was momentarily corrected for but there was insufficient power and altitude to recover. The instructor said the airplane disappeared from his field of view followed by an explosion. The instructor immediately flew over the area and assisted rescue personnel to the site.

PILOT INFORMATION

The flight instructor held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single and multi-engine land, and instrument airplane. He also held certified flight instructor certificate with ratings for airplane single and multi-engine, and instrument airplane. The flight instructor's most-recent first-class Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) medical certificate was issued on February 5, 2016. He reported a total of 1,440 flight hours with a total of 428 hours in multi-engine aircraft, of which, 330 hours were in the accident airplane providing instruction.

The accident pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land and instrument airplane. His most-recent first-class FAA medical was issued on November 16, 2015. A review of his logbook revealed he had a total of about 218.6 hours, of which, about 2.4 hours were in the accident airplane.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The accident airplane was a cantilever low-wing monoplane with an all-metal structure, four seats, retractable tricycle landing gear and a T-tail. It was powered by one 180-horsepower Lycoming O-360-A1G6D engine on the left wing and one LO-360-A1G6D on the right wing, which drove counter-rotating, constant-speed, two-blade Hartzell propellers. A review of the airplane's maintenance logbooks revealed the last annual inspection for both engines/propellers and the airframe was completed on February 24, 2016, at an aircraft total time of 9,601.8 hours. The left engine had accrued 5,868.39 hours since new and 2,118.39 hours since major overhaul. The right engine had accrued 6,454.39 hours of which 2,159.99 hours were since major overhaul.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

Weather reported at the airport at 1453, was wind from 090 degrees at 11 knots, visibility 10 miles, scattered clouds at 2,800 feet, temperature 26 degrees C, dewpoint 18 degrees C, and a barometric altimeter setting of 30.00 inches of mercury.

WRECKAGE INFORMATION

An on-scene examination of the wreckage revealed the initial impact point was the roof of a single-level, private residence. Pieces of the airplane's left wing were found on the roof. When the wing impacted the roof, the fuel tank breached and a section of the home caught on fire. As the airplane continued to descend along the wreckage path, it collided with a wooden fence, several trees, and a concrete wall that was part of another home before coming to rest upright on its right side in the backyard of the home that was next door to the home that was initially struck. From the initial impact point to where the main wreckage came to rest was about 150 ft. A post-impact fire consumed the cockpit area, a majority of the fuselage, and portions of the left and right wings. The empennage and tail section were not fire-damaged, but did sustain impact damage. Both engines separated from the airplane and both propellers separated from their respective engine.

The cockpit area was consumed by fire and no instrument readings could be obtained except for the altimeter. The throttle/propeller/mixture levers were all full forward and the carburetor heat for both engines was "off." The seat belt webbing and seat material for each seat had burned away and only the metal buckles/latches/floor attachments and seat frames remained.

The flap actuator was in the fully retracted position and the landing gear selector was in the up and locked position. The rudder trim was set to neutral/0 degrees. Flight control continuity was established for all flight controls to the cockpit.

Both engines sustained impact and fire damage. Examination of each engine and its associated accessories revealed no evidence of any pre-accident mechanical deficiencies that would have precluded normal operation prior to impact.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The airplane's Pilot Operating Handbook (POH), Emergency Procedures section, pages 3-4 to 3-5, stated the following checks should be used to identify the inoperative engine:

"1) DEAD FOOT - DEAD ENGINE. The rudder pressure required to maintain directional control will be on the side of the operative engine.

2) THROTTLE. Partially retard the throttle for the engine that is believed to be inoperative; there should be no change in the control pressures or in the sound of the engine if the correct throttle has been selected. AT LOW ALTITUDE AND AIRSPEED THIS CHECK MUST BE ACCOMPLISHED WITH EXTREME CAUTION.

Do not attempt to determined the inoperative engine by means of the tachometers or the manifold pressure gages. These instruments often indicate near normal readings.

ENGINE FAILURE AFTER LIFT-OFF AND IN-FLIGHT

An immediate landing is advisable regardless of take-off weight. Continued flight cannot be assured if take-off weight exceeds the weight determined from the TAKE-OFF WEIGHT graph. HIGHER take-off weights will result in a loss of altitude while retracting the landing gear and feathering the propeller. Continued flight requires immediate pilot response to the following procedures:

1) Landing Gear and Flaps - UP

2) Throttle (inoperative engine) - IDLE

3) Propeller (inoperative engine) - FEATHER

4) Power (operative engine) - AS REQUIRED

5) Airspeed a AT OR ABOVE THE 50-FT TAKE-OFF SPEED (80 KNOTS)

After positive control of the airplane is established:

6) Secure inoperative engine:

a. Mixture Control - IDLE CUT-OFF

b. Fuel Selector - OFF

c. Aux Fuel Pump - OFF

d. Magneto/Start Switch - OFF

e. Alternator Switch - OFF

f. Cowl Flap - CLOSE

7. Airspeed - ESTABLISH 85 KTS

8. Electrical Load - MONITOR (Maximum load of 100% on remaining engine)

NOTE: The most important aspect of engine failure is the necessity to maintain lateral and directional control. If airspeed is below 65 knots, reduce power on operative engine as required to maintain control. Refer to the SAFETY INFORMATION section for additional information regarding pilot technique."

National Transportation Safety Board - Aviation Accident Preliminary Report: http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf 

N6709Y LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N6709Y

NTSB Identification: ERA16FA170
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, April 25, 2016 in Pompano Beach, FL
Aircraft: BEECH 76, registration: N6709Y
Injuries: 3 Serious.

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 April 25, 2016, at 1456 eastern daylight time, a Beech 76 twin-engine airplane, N6709Y, was destroyed shortly after takeoff from Runway 10 at the Pompano Beach Airpark (PMP), Pompano Beach, Florida. The certified flight instructor, the private pilot, and the pilot-rated passenger were seriously injured. The airplane was registered to N6709Y LLC and operated by Florida Aviation Academy, Pompano Beach, Florida. Visual meteorological conditions were reported at the airport at the time oft he accident and no flight plan was filed for the local flight that was being operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 instructional flight.

According to a representative of Florida Aviation Academy, the flight instructor was providing multi-engine training for two students enrolled in the flight school. The flight instructor was seated in the front right seat, the male student was seated in the front left seat, and the female student was seated in the rear of the airplane. 

Several people witnessed the accident, including two air traffic controllers, who were working in the PMP air traffic control tower at the time of the accident. According to one controller, after he cleared the airplane for takeoff, he watched the airplane make a normal departure and right turn onto the crosswind leg of the traffic pattern. He said that when the airplane was about 400-500 ft above ground level (AGL), it made a sharp right turn followed by a sharp left turn and entered a steep nose down attitude toward the ground. The airplane then disappeared behind a tree line followed by an explosion. The controller did not hear the airplane but did recall that the airplane's landing gear was retracted. Another controller, who was working ground control, saw the airplane when it was on right cross wind. He could not recall the airplane's attitude at that time, but said it made a "hard left turn from a southerly heading to a northerly heading" with the nose pointed down toward the ground. The controller said that just before the airplane disappeared behind trees, it appeared to level out. He then saw fire and smoke.

An on-scene examination of the wreckage revealed the initial impact point was the roof of a single-level, private residence. Pieces of the airplane's left wing were found on the roof. When the wing impacted the roof, the fuel tank breached and a section of the home caught on fire. As the airplane continued to descend along the wreckage path, it collided with a wooden fence, several trees, and a concrete wall that was part of another home before coming to rest upright in the backyard of the home that was next door to the home that was initially struck. From the initial impact point to where the main wreckage came to rest was about 150 ft. A post-impact fire consumed the cockpit area, a majority of the fuselage, and portions of the left and right wings. The empennage and tail section were not fire-damaged, but did sustain impact damage. Both engines separated from the airplane and both propellers separated from their respective engine.

The airplane wreckage was recovered and retained for further examination.

The flight instructor held a commercial pilot certificate for airplane single and multi-engine land, and instrument airplane. He was also a certified flight instructor for airplane single and multi-engine land, and instrument airplane. The instructor's last first class Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) medical was issued on February 5, 2016. At that time, he reported a total of 1,000 flight hours.

The male student held a private pilot certificate for airplane single-engine land, instrument airplane. His last first class FAA medical was issued on November 16, 2015. A review of his logbook revealed he had a total of about 218.6 hours, of which, about 2.4 hours were in the accident airplane. 


Weather reported at PMP at 1453, was wind from 090 degrees at 11 knots, visibility 10 miles, scattered clouds at 2,800 ft, temperature 26 degrees C, dewpoint 18 degrees C, and a barometric pressure setting of 30.00 in Hg.




As a twin-engine plane exploded on impact and broke apart across several Pompano Beach homes, more than three dozen 911 callers alerted authorities.

From afar, some believed the dark smoke came from a house fire; others saw the aircraft take the tragic dive. And those closest to the fiery scene helped dispatchers pinpoint where the multi-engine Beechcraft 76 fell.

Pompano Beach Fire Rescue officials on Wednesday released a batch of 37 calls to 911 that followed the Monday afternoon plane crash in the 900 block of North Harbor Drive.

Three survivors — a pilot and two flight students — were in serious condition with burns on 30 to 40 percent of their bodies. The pilot, Geoffrey White, 40, of Fort Lauderdale, and students, Sylvia Coello Mena, 23, of Ecuador, and Fernando Quispe Diaz, 25, of Peru, were treated at Ryder Trauma Center in Miami.

The first rescuers on the scene described two seriously burned men standing near an engine that was ablaze; an injured woman remained near the fiery wreckage.

In one of the 911 recordings, a breathless man urgently tells a dispatcher that victims had been removed from the shattered, burning plane.

 Small plane crashes into homes in Pompano Beach
"They're hurt real bad," he said, before appearing to turn to someone at the scene. "We have somebody else. Somebody else there? There's three of them."

"All three are out. There's a girl and two guys," he said.

While on the phone with a dispatcher, a panicked woman close enough to the crash site wondered about children who might have been in the plane's path.

"A plane just crashed into two houses in my backyard," she said. "Oh my God! I don't know if anybody is in the house."

Another neighbor called 911 and said he had been looking out his window when he saw something fall out of the sky.

"There's been a horrible explosion right across the street from my home," he said. "It's a big explosion. It looked like something came out of the air and hit the ground, maybe it's an airplane or something."

One caller described how neighbors rushed to get fire extinguishers. Another told a dispatcher the left side of a house had caught fire. Authorities said the aircraft clipped the roof of a home before smashing into a backyard, its debris spilling across several properties.

Callers dialing 911 came from across Federal Highway, State Road A1A, from a park, a high-rise condo and near the Intracoastal. During several exchanges, 911 callers were surprised to learn from dispatchers that the smoke they saw likely was coming from a plane crash.

"There's no way that the pilot survived the crash, the way it came down, there's no way," one man said.

The aircraft is registered to Florida Aviation Academy, which runs a flight school out of the Pompano Beach Airpark. An investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board said the survivors were practicing takeoffs and landings moments before the crash.

Preliminary findings by the federal agency are expected to be released within a week, with a full report to be issued in six to nine months.

Original article can be found here:  http://www.sun-sentinel.com




Investigators started Tuesday to piece together what caused a small airplane to crash into a residential neighborhood in Pompano Beach Monday in which all three survived the crash, although they’re contending with second-degree burns.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office identified those on the airplane as pilot Geoffrey White, a 40-year-old Fort Lauderdale resident; co-pilot Fernando Diaz, 25 of Peru; and Sylvia Mena, 23, of Ecuador. Both Mena and Diaz are flight students.

All three were conscious but suffering from skin burns after the crash. They were taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where they remain. No information on the men was available from Jackson, although Mena was listed in critical condition. (The woman signed herself in at Jackson as Silvia Coello.)

The victims had “mostly second-degree burns ranging from 30 to 40 percent of their body,” Pompano Beach Fire Chief John Jurgle said Tuesday.

The single-engine prop plane crashed into a home shortly after takeoff from Pompano Beach Airpark around 3 p.m. Monday.

Warren Beck said he was driving near a friend’s home when he saw the plane go down. Beck drove to the scene and jumped out to assist the victims, moving them from the backyard to the front yard.

“I’m probably 20 feet from the plane and I hear, ‘We are over here,’” said Beck, as he recounted what happened Tuesday at the scene. “I look through the bushes and all three of them are standing in the yard in the back right next to the engine. ... I grabbed the co-pilot and held him all the way to the front. The copilot kept asking me how is my face? I said, ‘Sir you are alive. Everything is OK.’ I said, ‘Can you lie down?’ He said, ‘No, my face.’ I laid him down on the ground on my blanket.”

Beck said his friend Ryan helped the pilot walk to the front yard. (Beck said he doesn’t know Ryan’s last name).

Then Beck said he heard another bystander, a woman, say that there was another victim: Mena. Beck said he helped her walk to the front yard.

“She just kept saying thank you,” said Beck, a tiler installer from Fort Lauderdale. “In the beginning she was shaking a little bit. When the paramedics weren’t there yet she started just going into shock. You could see her vibrate. I told her everything was going to be OK.”

Mena said to Beck, “Please get me out of the sun.” About six inches of skin was peeling off her arms, he said.

Beck said she was able to tell him her name and said they were practicing turning on and off the engine.

Of the three victims, the pilot was in the worse condition, Beck said.

“When I went to him lying on the ground and put blankets beneath him he was in excruciating pain,” Beck said.

All three were wearing pilot shirts, he said.

The plane belongs to the Florida Aviation Academy at the nearby Pompano Beach Airpark.

On Tuesday, the academy was closed and no one answered the telephone or email. The company’s website says it first opened in 1993. The owner John J. Fitzgerald could not be reached Tuesday.

The Hawker Beechcraft 76 aircraft is owned by a corporation in Wyoming, according to Federal Aviation Administration records. The records show the registration expired in February.

Leah Read, a senior investigator from the National Transportation Safety Board, was at the crash scene Tuesday morning documenting the site.

The airplane went down in the 900 block of Harbor Drive/26th Avenue, a middle class residential neighborhood of largely single-story homes on the east side of U.S. 1. The Pompano Beach Airpark is on the west side of U.S. 1.

The airplane clipped a front corner of the roof at 912 Harbor Drive, where part of a roof gutter and window shade were torn and a corner of the roof was black from the fire. The more substantial damage was in the back of the home, but that was not visible to passersby on Tuesday as authorities had cordoned off the area. No one on the ground was injured.

Rita Pizzo, who lives across street, was at home when the plane went down.

"I was having lunch with my son and we heard a loud boom. My son looked at me and said that's a plane crash."

Her son Mason, 23, bolted across the street and into 912, his mom said.

"He went into a burning house," she said. He tried but couldn't open the back sliding door.

He rushed back home to grab a fire extinguisher. Rescuers quickly arrived and Rita saw the three victims on the front lawns. "Had it been summer and kids were out at the pool or barbecues it could have been really tragic," she said.

The pilot was practicing takeoffs and landings when the accident occurred, Kathleen Bergen, a spokeswoman for the FAA, said.

Neighbors told Miami Herald news partner WFOR-CBS4 that no one was home at the time of the crash.

Original article can be found here: http://www.miamiherald.com






POMPANO BEACH, Fla. - ​Cellphone video captured the fiery scene after a small plane crashed into a house Monday afternoon in Pompano Beach, injuring three people on board.

The crash was reported shortly after 3 p.m. in the 900 block of Harbor Drive, just east of Pompano Beach Airpark.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said the Beechcraft 76 crashed into the neighborhood shortly after takeoff.

Amid the sirens and smoke, neighbors can be heard looking for one another.

"Be careful! Be careful!" one resident can be heard yelling.

Armed with nothing but a garden hose, the group tried to keep the fire from spreading.

"Me and my next door neighbor ran over and kicked the fence in and then we saw the pilot and co-pilot standing, so we grabbed them and dragged them to the street," Larry Ferris said. "They were badly burned."

Pompano Beach Fire Chief John Jurgle said firefighters arrived to find a house engulfed in flames.

Sky 10 was flying above the scene as firefighters were using water hoses to spray a house with a gaping hole in its roof.

The charred remains of the small plane could be seen in the backyard of a nearby home.

The homeowner was inside the house at the time of the crash, but he was not injured, Jurgle said.

"I heard a loud boom that rattled the windows of the house," Dorine Wollangk said.

When the plane struck the house, it bounced over the house next door and came to a rest in the yard of the house next to that, Jurgle said.

Jurgle said the pilot and two passengers -- two men and a woman -- suffered "severe burn injuries." Two of the victims were taken to Broward Health Medical Center, and a third victim was taken to Broward Health North.

Neighbors were at a loss for words when through the smoke and fire they saw the three people on board walking away from the crash.

"Is it incredible that someone is alive tonight? Oh, yeah. I was surprised," Ferris said. "I thought I was going to see dead people in the backyard. I was shocked." 

"I think there's some very lucky people in Pompano," Jurgle said.

It was not immediately known what led to the crash, but Bergen said the pilot was practicing takeoffs and landings at the time of the crash.

A witness told Local 10 News said the plane and was headed east toward the Atlantic Ocean when it went nose down and crashed into a neighborhood.

The plane is registered to Florida Aviation Academy. 

According to FAA records, the plane was registered to a corporation in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Records show that the plane's registration expired at the end of February.

The victims' identities haven't been released.


Story and video: http://www.local10.com










Residents of a Pompano Beach neighborhood were not surprised to hear a small plane flying uncomfortably low Monday afternoon — until the roar of the engine gave way to the sound of a crash and explosion.

One woman and two men were hospitalized after the fixed-wing, multi-engine Beechcraft 76 clipped a house on the 900 block of North Harbor Drive, hopscotched over another home and ended up engulfed in flames in the backyard of a third, officials and witnesses said.

Those in the plane suffered "significant burns," Pompano Beach Fire Rescue Chief John Jurgle said. "They were all severe burn injuries, between 30 and 40 percent of their body," Jurgle said.

The names of the victims were not released.

"Out of nowhere we could hear the sound of the plane coming down," said Mason Pizzo, 23, who lives across the street and was eating when the crash happened about 3 p.m. He described a "boom and bang" that made him realize his neighborhood was not just being buzzed by an inexperienced pilot.

 Small plane crashes into homes in Pompano Beach
"It seems like the whole neighborhood shook there for a minute," said Michele Miller, 62, who was leaving a nearby dog park when she heard the explosion.

Gary Mitchell, 71, who also lives across the street from the crash scene, described the explosion as a "fireball … maybe 100 feet in the air."

Larry Ferris was washing his car on his driveway when he said he saw a plane fall out of the sky and toward a house. "I saw the plane blow up in the backyard," he said. "I ran across the street and grabbed a garden hose."

Other neighbors and passers-by immediately sprang into action. Pizzo said he called 911 and ran toward the blaze with a fire extinguisher, handing his phone to the neighbor whose house was clipped. By the time he reached the wreckage, Pizzo said he saw two good Samaritans in what appeared to be wetsuits had already rescued two of the plane's three occupants.

 Plane hits homes in Pompano Beach
A small plane crashed into a home along the 900 bock of Northeast 26th Avenue in Pompano Beach about 3 p.m. on Monday, April 25. (WSVN-Ch. 7)
"I'm amazed and happy that all the people came together as a neighborhood in a time of craziness like that," Pizzo said. "Nowadays, that's hard to find."

Ferris said the people in the plane were badly burned. "One of them said, 'Please help me, I'm on fire,'" Ferris said.

Fire-rescue units were on scene in minutes.

"When they arrived, they found one house engulfed in flames in the back half of the house and, two houses over, a plane that was also involved in flames," Jurgle said.

The homeowner of the clipped house got out before firefighters arrived and was not injured in the crash, Jurgle said. Efforts to reach him Monday were unsuccessful. The owners of the home where the plane landed declined to comment.

The plane's occupants were taken to either Broward Health Medical Center or North Broward Health, Jurgle said.

Two of those inside the aircraft were able to walk from the crash, while investigators were looking into whether the third may have been thrown from the plane during the incident, Jurgle said.

The Harbor Village neighborhood of single-family homes is east of Federal Highway and the nearby Pompano Beach Airpark and west of the Intracoastal Waterway.

The plane is registered to Florida Aviation Academy, which runs a flight school at the Pompano Beach Aripark. Calls to the school were not returned late Monday afternoon and early evening.

The same school owned a Cessna 172 that made an emergency landing west of Coral Springs last August. No one was injured in that incident.

The Federal Aviation Administration said preliminary information about the aircraft in Monday's crash shows it came down shortly after departing from the Pompano Beach Airpark. The pilot was practicing takeoffs and landings before the accident, an FAA spokeswoman said.

The National Transportation Safety Board will determine the probable cause for it falling from the sky.

Neighbors said they have been complaining about low-flying aircraft for years.

"Now it does [concern me] that a plane can just drop in your backyard," said Ferris. "I know that could happen anytime now."

Story and video:  http://www.sun-sentinel.com

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