Saturday, October 10, 2020

Cessna 414, N8132Q: Accident occurred October 08, 2020 at North Palm Beach County General Aviation Airport (F45), West Palm Beach, Florida

A photo of the Joseph Allen family, with Angela and Joseph Allen and their children Abrams McCarthy, 12, Logan Allen, 4 and Heidi Allen, 2.

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; South Florida

Aircraft failed to climb during takeoff and ran off departure end of runway.  

Sierra AE LLC

Date: 08-OCT-20
Time: 15:15:00Z
Regis#: N8132Q
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 414
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: SERIOUS
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Operation: 91

WEST PALM BEACH, Florida — Seven members of a local family were injured when their plane went off a runway at the North Palm Beach County airport Thursday, flipping into a pond.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office identified the seven on the plane as Joseph Allen, 70, who owned the plane, Diana Allen, 70, both of Edinburgh, and another Joseph Allen, 36, Angela Allen, 38, and children, Abram McCarthy, 12, Logan Allen, 4, and Heidi Allen, 2, all of Columbus. Two other people who helped rescue them were also injured.

The plane crash happened at 11:15 a.m. Thursday while the Cessna 414 was taking off from the North Palm Beach County General Aviation Airport, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Brandon Allen, son of the older Joseph Allen, said his father and the others were in Florida on vacation and were on their way back to Columbus Municipal Airport when the plane crash occurred.

The members of the Allen family and two rescuers who worked to pull the victims out of the plane were taken to St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach, according to Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue.

Brandon said that his father and stepmother were initially in the intensive care unit, and he believes they’re were being transferred out. He said that he believes his brother and sister-in-law, the younger Joseph Allen and Angela, were in a regular hospital and both will be released soon. Hospital officials had said they could be released Friday or today.

“Everybody’s been spoken to,” he said. “They’re all lucid. They’re in good spirits.”

He did say that some family members “sustained painful fractures and lacerations.”

Brandon said his father has flown for about 44 years, and his brother is also a pilot.

The FAA entry said that the Cessna 414, “failed to climb during takeoff and ran off (the) departure end of (the) runway,” according to reporting in the Palm Beach Post.

Christopher Markgraf watched the plane carrying his friend’s extended family — four adults and three children as young as 2 — shoot down the runway at the North County Airport. He saw it run out of asphalt and flip into a pond.

“We saw it. Heard all of it,” Markgraf said Friday. Within five minutes, Markgraf said, crews from businesses at the airport had all seven people out of the partially submerged plane and on their way to the hospital, the paper reported.

“If you would have seen it all, they shouldn’t be here,” Markgraf told the Palm Beach Post. “It’s an absolutely God-given miracle.”

“They’re all in stable condition,” son-in-law Kevin Schuldt said Friday from Michigan. “A lot of them have to have surgeries to fix some broken stuff. They’re all out of the ICU,” the Palm Beach Post reported.

According to relatives, Joseph Allen is an Air Force veteran and a retired electrician, the Palm Beach Post reported. Diana is involved with the Purina pet food company. Both are active breeders of American Eskimo dogs, and Diana is president of the national association, the newspaper reported

The younger Joseph Allen, or “Joe,” works in internet technology. Angela is an autism coordinator for Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp., according to her social media account. BCSC is on fall break this week.

BCSC Superintendent Jim Roberts said school corporation officials learned about the crash earlier Friday and were stunned to learn that it involved a BCSC employee who works in the administration building. Describing Angela Allen as extremely talented in her role as autism coordinator for the school corporation, Roberts said she has been in that role as long as he has been at the school corporation, for about the past five years. School officials are gathering details as many families return to Columbus from fall break this weekend.

On the day of the crash, Markgraf and a friend had taken the Allen family to the airport and were watching when the plane left the airport, according to the Palm Beach Post. While both Joseph Allens are certified pilots, it is unknown who was piloting the plane.

“About a third of the way down the runway, I said, ‘Hey. They’re in trouble,’ “ Markgraf told the Palm Beach Post. “They were going fast enough to fly, but they weren’t coming up off the ground.”

He said the plane’s engines never lost power or even sputtered. “I could see the plane just skipping along. It wanted to fly,” Markgraf said. “I heard them kill the power and start trying to stop. There was not enough real estate,” he told Palm Beach Post reporters.

Nearby people sprinted to the site and got the seven family members out of the aircraft from chest-deep water, the Palm Beach Post reported.

Sean Nowlin, a mechanic at the airport, was working when a colleague from outside shouted that a plane had crashed. Nowlin and a colleague grabbed a fire extinguisher and cutters, jumped into a golf cart and raced down the runway. When they got to the pond, everyone still was in the plane, the newspaper reported.

“One of the guys yelled out, ‘They’re alive! And there’s kids in there!’ Everything sort of ramped up exponentially,” Nowlin said. “They ripped the door open and started getting people out,” according to the newspaper.

The nose and part of the cabin were under water, as the plane lay on an angle on the bank of the pond. He said the water was over his head at some points, the newspaper reported

Nowlin said he helped carry some of the smaller children, sliding down a wing. He said a man he believed was the senior Joseph Allen sat, dazed, on the bank, the newspaper reported.

“I kept saying, ‘Are you OK, mate? Where are you hurting?’ “ said Nowlin, who’s Australian. “He said, ‘I don’t know what happened. I just don’t know what happened.’ I said, ‘Don’t worry. You’re all out of the plane. The kids are here. The kids are OK. The kids are next to you,’ “ he told the Palm Beach Post.

Only later, Nowlin said, did he think of his own children.

“You think about them being in that situation,” he said. “It tugs at your heartstrings.”

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