Friday, May 15, 2020

Piper PA-34-200 Seneca, N887SP: Fatal accident occurred May 12, 2020 in Miramar, Broward County, Florida

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.

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Miami, Florida 
Piper Aircraft; Vero Beach, Florida
Lycoming Engines; Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Location: Hollywood, FL
Accident Number: ERA20LA177
Date & Time: 05/12/2020, 0900 EDT
Registration: N887SP
Aircraft: Piper PA34
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional

On May 12, 2020, about 0900 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-34-200, N887SP, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Hollywood, Florida. The flight instructor was seriously injured, and the student pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 instructional flight.

According to the flight instructor, they departed North Perry Airport (HWO), Hollywood, Florida, for the practice area which was located about 14 miles west of HWO. He stated that halfway to the practice area "the right engine failed." He followed the engine checklist and secured the right engine, then communicated with the HWO control tower relaying the engine failure while turning the airplane back toward HWO. He stated that the airplane was unable to maintain altitude and positioned the airplane to land on a city street. While descending across a major intersection, the airplane struck powerlines, impacted a residential road, and slid about 750 ft before striking a tree on the right side of the road. The flight instructor stated he was exiting the airplane when an explosion occurred and a postcrash fire ensued.

Examination of the accident site by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector and a representative from the airframe manufacturer revealed that the airplane came to rest upright on the right side of a road near a commercial building. All major components of the airplane were accounted for and the postcrash fire consumed most of the cockpit, cabin, and right wing. The left wing had separated during the impact and was located near the main wreckage.

Initial postaccident examination of the airframe and engines by an FAA inspector and manufacturer representatives revealed no evidence of any preimpact failures or malfunctions.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N887SP
Model/Series: PA34 200
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Pilot School (141) 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: HWO, 9 ft msl
Observation Time:1317 UTC 
Distance from Accident Site: 3 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 28°C / 16°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 4000 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 14 knots / 19 knots, 50°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.13 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Hollywood, FL (HWO)
Destination: Hollywood, FL (HWO)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: On-Ground
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 25.993056, -80.294722 (est)

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

Andres Bastidas
Flight Instructor 

Mark Daniel Scott
Pilot Under Instruction
Caribbean Aviation Training Center
March 13th, 2017 
"Congratulations are in order! Mark Scott completed his first solo flight on March 12th, 2017. Now he's off to continue preparing for his Private Pilot License. We're so proud of all our students and their hard work." 

MIRAMAR, Florida – A flight instructor who was critically injured Tuesday in a plane crash in Miramar was identified by executives at Wayman Aviation Academy as Andres Bastidas.

Bastidas has been transferred to Jackson Memorial Hospital for treatment of injuries that include burns.

Authorities said a pilot under instruction, identified as Mark Daniel Scott, 25, died at the scene on the south side of Pembroke Road near the corner of Hiatus Road.

What’s left of the plane is now in a nearby hangar until members of the National Transportation Safety Board can come down to investigate and determine the probable cause of the accident. That might not happen any time soon because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Executives at the flight school say both men were passionate aviators and loved their craft.

According to authorities, Bastidas and Scott were on a routine training flight Tuesday morning when their Piper PA-34-200 Seneca crashed and burst into flames in Miramar.

Dash camera video from a passing driver shows their plane flying dangerously low, clipping power lines seconds before crashing.

“I saw the plane hit the ground,” witness Cedric Jackson said.

The plane departed from North Perry Airport shortly before 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Authorities said the men notified the tower they were returning back to the airport before they crashed.

“When it burst up into flames, I felt the heat on my back as if someone had a lighter just sitting there on my shirt. The heat was that close to my back,” Jackson said.

Eddy Luy, the vice president of the Wayman Aviation Academy, which the plane was registered to, said Scott and Bastidas had only been in the air for a short period of time before the crash, and that they were both experienced.

He said Scott only had months left of training to complete.

Authorities said a landscaper who was working in the area when the accident took place was hit by debris, but was not seriously injured.

Mark and Rachel Scott

(JAMAICA GLEANER) — Pilot Mark Daniel Scott’s death has been described as a major loss for young aspiring Jamaican aviators.

The 25-year-old Wolmer’s Boys alumnus died in a plane crash in south Florida Tuesday morning after the Piper PA-34-200 Seneca he was flying developed mechanical problems, crashing near the southside of Pembroke Road in Florida.

His flight instructor, who was with him, is still hospitalized with ­serious injuries.

The aircraft was operated by the Wayman Aviation Academy.

“He started his career with us at Caribbean Aviation, and he was like my son. In fact, anyone would want to have him as a son,” a ­solemn Captain Errol Stewart, operator of the Jamaican flight school, Caribbean Aviation Training Centre, told The Gleaner Tuesday evening.

His voice cracking from pain, Stewart said that Scott was focused, disciplined, and on the path to a promising future. But “life has way of throwing you a curveball,” he lamented.


The aviation instructor said it was the yearning for opportunities for self-development that drove Scott to move to Florida with his wife, Rachelle, who recently got her commercial pilot license.

“Those are the struggles we are having here,” said Stewart, noting the difficulties to keep local talent in Jamaica.

Scott was at an advanced stage of becoming a commercial pilot.

On Tuesday morning as he took off on what turned out to be his final flight, his wife of three years awaited his return at the school. The couple resided in Miramar.

“If one is flying, the other one is waiting. They had a bond that was second to none,” Stewart stated, adding that as painful as the loss would be to Scott’s wife, his parents would be just as devastated.

Mark was the son of Dr Paul Scott, a pulmonologist based at the University Hospital of the West Indies, and Dr Angela Scott, a haematologist.

“He was an example of a great son. I know what they are going through.”

According to multiple reports, Scott and his instructor took off from the North Perry Airport, located about three miles from the crash site, shortly before 9 a.m.

Scott is reported to have advised air traffic controllers at the airport that he was trying to get back.

However, when he tried ­landing the plane on the south side of Pembroke Road, the tail of the plane clipped power wires, ­crash-landed, and burst into flames.

Dr Allan Cunningham, the Southern region area Global Diaspora Council member, said he has been in constant touch with the family and described the situation as “truly sad”.

Dash-camera footage showed the badly damaged plane against a tree near a Chase bank.

A third person on the ground was injured by debris and treated at the scene.

The vice-president of Wayman Aviation, Eddy Luy, said that Scott had been training with the flight academy for about a year and was about to complete his training.

Luy was quoted by CBS Miami as saying: “They had some ­trouble, ­followed all emergency ­procedures, but it seems like chance was not with them this morning.”


  1. Man they were going down but apparently kept the wings level all the way down even after hitting the power lines. Bad luck and hit a tree. The instructor is lucky to have survived that being just inches away from where the pilot died. What in the world brought this bird down. If it was an engine out they at least kept it flying. Fuel contamination affecting engine performance? Wrong fuel? Not likely as surely they checked for those basics in pre-flight.

    Regarding C19 holding things up, this is getting out of hand. There is zero reason why the NTSB can't either fly or drive to this location from the VA office. It's preposterous considering there was a fatality here which normally mandates priority in investigation to rule out a defect or maintenance error that could be repeated. It's not like Florida is run by a fascist dictator governor like those running Michigan or Pennsylvania.

    Entirely inexcusable to not start investigating this immediately knowing the numbers of Senecas out there both in private and flight school ops. If people are grocery shopping there is ZERO excuse for not doing this! But then again we are dealing with government here. Want them controlling your health care in a universal "single payer" plan like this government bureaucratic mindlessness?

    1. FAA rep from nearby FSDO can witness engine inspections, magneto spins and thumb compression checks, etc so don't think that nothing is being looked at on the wreckage. Here is an example where power loss on takeoff was investigated similarly without NTSB on scene:

  2. Saw the dash cam video on LiveLeak. Yes, the plane grazed some wires but did not even break them. Looked like a great job getting the plane down in the proper attitude but slid into a tree and burst into flames. Will be interested in learning the cause if the NTSB ever gets around to investigating this crash. Hope the injured instructor makes a rapid and full recovery.

  3. Flightaware data for the accident makes it clear that power was severely reduced early on at 900 feet and after that they were trading altitude for speed. That 180 degree turn at 600 feet could have become a stall/spin but they got turned around ok, just too low power to make the field.

    You can't tell on the youtube video from the dashcam whether a prop is not turning, but it appears that the gear is not down, so at least they weren't flying dirty all the way back. Whatever power the remaining Lycoming was putting out wasn't doing much. Perhaps they pulled it back quite a bit to stay in control of yaw and roll.

  4. Photo from happier time of N887SP:

  5. I find it very interesting that they never even achieved pattern altitude after departing North Perry. They were heading to the Everglades where flight schools practice maneuvers. And to think that they had a multi-engine aircraft but could not return to the airport leads me to believe the possibility of fuel contamination. Also, gear was not put down...don’t believe this was due to avoiding snagging power lines as they simply could not see them. Guessing they were so fixated on preventing a stall and maintaining a good rate of speed but failed to go thru checklist for that emergency landing. If gear was down and they cleared the power lines, steering would have prevented contact with the tree. RIP.

  6. Judging from the video, the aircraft pitches up slightly just before striking the wires. Could this pilot reaction have stalled the wings resulting in the flight deviating from the road into a tree?

    1. With the gear up, the plane can change direction during the slide along the ground, depending on how level the wings are at contact and whether it snags anything with a wing as it slides.

      The streetlight just before the tree is missing its lamp from the end of its arm. You can see the lamp in the road and the empty arm on the video below at 0:10 thru 0:20. The plane was not high enough to contact the lamp, so it had to strike the pole and fling the lamp off the arm from the twanging it got.

      There is a hard v impact dent on the rear of the starboard elevator but no damage to the leading edge. The airplane may have turned during the slide and rammed the streetlight pole tail first as it rotated and slid by.

      Take a look -

    2. The plane definitely clipped the last skinny palm tree of the group. Look for the severed palm tree stub in the red mulch in that 0:10 view. It is not a fire hydrant and hose - compare to the Google street view of that corner (link below) before the accident clipped the palm and twanged the light pole (The CHASE Bank sign is to the right of the final aircraft position):,-80.2949708,3a,75y,122.45h,94.58t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sV-IBFOdMQK8i2J2ob0EF9g!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

  7. Just watched the dashcam video and looked at the map. It appears they had it nice and lined up for a wide, long, straight road. I wonder if clipping the powerlines is what sent them to the side and into tree. If it weren't for that, the outcome I imagine would have been a lot better.

    Also looks like instructor was up and out of the plane pretty quick, by the time the truck with dashcam got over (around 20 seconds) the instructor was out walking around.

    1. Good catch, had not seen the instructor walking away. Clearly visible in his white shirt during 1:28 to 1:32 in this video:

    2. In the actual dashcam video you can see him walking around even longer than that. He is tending to injuries on his face, which match up with the news showing him on a stretcher with face coverings.

      Also the actual dashcam video is much better quality than the clips in the news video. See below.

    3. That really is better quality. What looked like a streetlamp head in the street on the news clip is clearly an airplane chunk, visible when dashcam guy pulls away.

  8. The unfortunate truth of this accident is that the pilots kept flying away from the airport with an airplane that could not maintain altitude and speed.

    The situation they were in was the same as a single engine aircraft with engine failure.

    According to the radar tracking, if they had turned toward the airport when it became apparent that they could not maintain altitude and speed, they had plenty of altitude to land back at the airport, if they had only turned within a short period of time.

    They were in the vicinity of Flamingo Road when the engine failed and the propeller failed to feather.

    The propeller windmiling creates considerable drag and that drag. In most piston powered light twins the drag of a windmilling propeller that did not feather will take the airplane out of the sky. They were at about 900 feet when the engine failed and then failed to feather.

    The pilot must take action to find a safe place to land or the drag of the windmilling propeller will find the crash site for you.

    A lot of multiengine courses do not emphasize the consequences in a light piston powered aircraft if the propeller fails to feather.

    In any case, if you find you can't maintain altitude and speed, the first priority should always be to find a place to land safely.