Thursday, December 30, 2021

Cessna 207 Skywagon, N1596U: Accident occurred December 29, 2021 near The Florida Keys Marathon International Airport (KMTH), Monroe 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
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas

Two Zero Seven Inc

Location: Marathon, Florida 
Accident Number: ERA22LA097
Date and Time: December 29, 2021, 16:22 Local
Registration: N1596U
Aircraft: Cessna 207 
Injuries: 1 Serious, 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 135: Air taxi and commuter - Non-scheduled

On December 29, 2021, at 1622 eastern standard time, a Cessna 207 airplane, N1596U, sustained minor damage when it was involved in an accident in the Florida Bay near Marathon, Florida. The pilot sustained serious injuries and the two passengers sustained minor injuries. The airplane was operated by ExecAir of Naples as an on-demand passenger flight under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135.

According to the operator, the pilot reported that the takeoff from The Florida Keys Marathon International Airport (MTH), Marathon, Florida was normal, and the flight progressed on-course over water toward the destination of Naples Municipal Airport (APF), Naples, Florida. Once the airplane reached about 3,500 ft mean sea level, a “bang” from the engine was heard, which was immediately followed by a total loss of engine power and oil spraying onto the cowling.

The pilot briefed the passengers that they would not be able to make it to land and to prepare for a water landing. Subsequently, the ditching was accomplished in open water, the airplane remained upright, and everyone evacuated the airplane. About 10-15 minutes later, a passing pleasure vessel rescued the occupants and a United States Coast Guard helicopter also arrived shortly thereafter.

Review of photographs of the airplane after it was recovered to land revealed that it sustained minor damage to areas of the cowling, fuselage, and wings. Photos of the engine (Continental Motors, IO-520-F) revealed that a large fracture hole was sustained to the crankcase near the No. 2 cylinder, with several internal engine components protruding from the area. The magnetos were also observed to have fractured from their attach points and were resting on top of the engine. The propeller was intact and showed minimal damage. Figure 1 shows the engine damage. 

The airplane was retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N1596U
Model/Series: 207
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
Operating Certificate(s) Held: On-demand air taxi (135)
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: MTH, 8 ft msl
Observation Time: 16:53 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 11 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C /21°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots / , 140°
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.04 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Departure Point: Marathon, FL (MTH)
Destination: Naples, FL (APF)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious 
Aircraft Damage: Minor
Passenger Injuries: 2 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious, 2 Minor 
Latitude, Longitude: 24.8995,-81.1166 (est)

MARATHON, Florida – A Cessna 207 Skywagon aircraft crashed into the ocean on Wednesday about 10 miles north of the Florida Keys.

The U.S. Coast Guard’s Station Marathon crew arrived after a good Samaritan rescued three people from the downed aircraft north of the Marathon International Airport.

“Thank you to the good Samaritan for arriving on scene and recovering the three survivors,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Paul Altieri, a duty watchstander at Coast Guard Sector Key West. “Their quick response undoubtedly played a tremendous role in this rescue.”

The Coat Guard’s 33-foot Special Purpose Craft boat crew took the plane’s aircrew, who suffered minor injuries, ashore for emergency medical service. A commercial salvage company retrieved the submerged aircraft.


  1. broken crankshaft, spiral cracks right at the oil transfer collar that the prop governor pumps the oil to control prop..... prop will go to flat pitch when the crack opens... RPM will go over 3000.... basically tears engine up, and fills it with metal.... we test flew one thing to diagnose problem 3 times around patch... by last try it threw alternator belt off and went over 3000 rpm... original pilot had made a precautionary landing when prop started acting up.... we had swapped prop governor last, first try was making sure prop governor cable wasn't slipping or such.... engine was toast by then... fun bringing new engine and taking old one away in C-185, loading by hand..

  2. A responsive ".. commercial salvage company retrieved the submerged aircraft."
    Who provides the emergency response, site assessment, remediation support and environmental management of the site for the Coast Guard?