NTSB Identification: ERA16FA279
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, August 02, 2016 in Destin, FL
Aircraft: CESSNA 414A, registration: N2735A
Injuries: 1 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 August 2, 2016, about 2025 central daylight time, a Cessna 414A, N2735A, descended into the Gulf of Mexico shortly after takeoff from Destin Executive Airport (DTS), Destin, Florida. The commercial pilot, the sole occupant was fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to and operated by Cessna 414 LLC, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time, and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed and active for the flight. The flight originated about 1 minute earlier from DTS, and was destined for Abbeville Chris Crusta Memorial Airport (IYA), Abbeville, Louisiana.
According to preliminary air traffic control (ATC) information, while on the ground at DTS, the pilot contacted Eglin Air Force Base clearance delivery for his IFR clearance, as well as departure control for departure instructions. He was assigned a transponder code of 0746.
Witnesses reported hearing an engine run-up that included multiple throttle advances and reductions. The airplane then taxied to runway 14, and the pilot announced on the common traffic advisory frequency that the flight was departing. A pilot rated witness who was on the ramp preparing for a flight observed the airplane during the early part of the takeoff and reported it was flying between 50 and 100 feet with the landing gear retracted. The flight continued and witnesses who were on the beach south-southeast of the departure end of runway 14 noted the airplane flew over a building adjacent to them in a southerly direction at an estimated altitude of 150 feet. The airplane continued over the Gulf of Mexico, and then banked sharply to the right. One witness described the bank angle as the wings being nearly vertical. The airplane appeared to roll wings level, before it began descending and impacted the water.
Preliminary ATC information indicated the airplane was briefly observed on radar at 700 feet mean sea level. There was no contact by the pilot with ATC, and no distress call was heard.
Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email email@example.com, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Divers with Sea Tow ready to check wreckage from fatal plane crash off coast of Destin. Bulk of plane found in 55 feet of water about a mile south of the shoreline. National Transportation Safety Board will be taking over the investigation. 63-year old pilot Al Habetz of Crowley Louisiana lost his life in the August 2nd crash.
Al Habetz was flying back to Abbeville, after dropping people off in Florida. At 8:30 last night, his plane crashed in the Gulf of Mexico. No one else was on board.
Kenny Habetz said he learned his brother was the pilot of the plane at 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
"When you get those calls late in the evening, you know something isn't going to be good on the other end," Kenny Habetz said.
Kenny Habetz did say his brother died doing what he loved.
"Since he was 16-years old, he had his pilots license," Kenny Habetz said. "As soon as he could get it, he got it. As soon as he could get the next best rating or next classification, Al was there."
Kenny Habetz said he does not believe the crash could have been from pilot error having known what a stickler for safety his brother was. He said he can only imagine it was a health or mechanical issue.
Al Habetz leaves behind a wife, three children, several grandchildren and his extended family. Kenny Habetz said they all have deep roots in aviation. He said he does not think his brother's tragic death will deter the family from flying and Al would not want it to.
"I think he would say 'I love you, continue what you're doing and fly your heart out and don't stop,' " Kenny Habetz said.
Story and video: http://www.katc.com
DESTIN, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - UPDATE August 3, 2016 6:30 a.m
Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office has set up a command post near Hampton Inn west of the Back Porch restaurant in relation to a plane crash that happened Tuesday night. Pic courtesy OCSO.
The pilot of a small plane crash Tuesday evening has been identified.
Al Habetz. 63. of Louisiana was killed after his twin engine, eight seat Cessna crashed into the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Destin around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.
After multiple reports of seeing a plane crash into the water and hearing the impact, a multi-agency search lead to the recovery of Habetz's body by the Coast Guard.
No one else is believed to have been on board the plane.
Authorities have marked the site and will return to the scene this morning where they believe a large part of the plane is located underwater.
Habetz had reportedly flown into the Destin Airport earlier Tuesday to drop off passengers and was returning to Louisiana when the crash took place.
The National Transportation Safety Board is now taking over the investigation into the cause of the crash.
UPDATE: August 2, 2016 11:05 p.m.
The Coast Guard has recovered a man’s body following the crash of a small aircraft in the Gulf of Mexico offshore of Destin around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.
The Coast Guard, Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, and Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission launched boats to begin a search after multiple 911 calls were received about an aircraft hitting the water.
Investigators are working to confirm the identity of the man, believed to be the pilot of the aircraft. The plane’s wreckage had not been positively located as of 10:50 p.m. Initial indications are the plane had left the Destin Airport prior to the accident.
The National Transportation Safety Board will be investigating the cause of the crash.
The identity of the victim has not yet been released, pending notification of next of kin.
UPDATE: August 2, 9:45 p.m.:
An eyewitness tells WJHG/WECP that a twin-engine plane flew south over the condo where they were staying, banked right and went down into the Gulf of Mexico. The witness says police have confirmed that they've found the plane.
The witness also tells WJHG/WECP it looks like six Coast Guard boats are operating about 300 yards off the coast.
ORIGINAL STORY: August 2, 9:40 p.m.
The Coast Guard is searching the waters off the coast of Destin following multiple reports to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office by witnesses who say a plane crashed in the Gulf of Mexico around 8:30 Tuesday night.
Witnesses say they saw a plane go down in the area behind Silver Beach Towers and the Breakers Condominiums at least a half mile or more from the shoreline.
First responders, including OCSO, are on the scene and are asking individuals to stay off the beach in that area in case debris should begin washing ashore.
The type of plane involved, the number of people on board and any injuries aren't known as of 9:40 p.m.
Story and video: http://www.wjhg.com
6:20 a.m., Wednesday, August 3:
The pilot of a twin engine eight-seat Cessna killed when the plane crashed into the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Destin around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday has been identified as 63-year old Al Habetz of Louisiana according to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office.
The Coast Guard, Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, and Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission launched boats to begin a search shortly after multiple people reported either seeing a plane crash into the water or hearing the impact. The Coast Guard recovered the pilot’s body and no other people were believed to have been on board the aircraft.
Authorities have marked the site where they believe a large part of the plane is located underneath the surface and are returning to the scene this morning.
Habetz had reportedly flown into the Destin Airport earlier in the day, dropped off passengers, and was returning to Louisiana when the crash took place.
4:15 am UPDATE: A man’s body has been recovered following the crash of a small airplane off the coast of Destin.
The craft went down near Silver Beach Towers and the Breakers Condominiums at least a half mile or more from the shoreline around 8:30 p.m.
Investigators are working to confirm the identity of the man, believed to be the pilot of the aircraft according to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Department.
Initial indications are that the plane had left the Destin Airport prior to the accident.
The National Transportation Safety Board will be investigating the cause of the crash.
First responders are on the scene, asking individuals to stay off the beach in the area in case debris washes ashore.
Story and video: http://wkrg.com