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Page 1 of 1Total of 8 messages
Posted by:Aug 23rd 2005, 02:50:29 pm
Fig Tree News Teamhttp://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/lo...la-news-broward

Fuel flow problem cited in ocean ditching of small plane

By Ken Kaye
Staff Writer
Posted August 23 2005

A Fort Lauderdale-based charter plane suffered an apparent fuel-flow problem, forcing it to ditch in the Atlantic on Aug. 13, according to a National Transportation Safety Board report released Monday. All seven on board escaped without serious injury.

Jack Brown, pilot of Twin-Air Calypso Flight 217, told investigators the Piper Navajo had 70 gallons of fuel when the left engine lost power while descending toward Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, after departing North Eleuthera in the Bahamas.

The engine's fuel flow was erratic and switching tanks didn't help. While 10 miles out, Brown noticed two sport-fishing boats and considered putting down next to one, the report said.

Before doing so, Brown tried to climb, but the plane wouldn't even maintain altitude. He shut down the left engine and instructed the passengers to don life jackets, the report said.

The Navajo belly-landed near a 55-foot Hatteras, which rescued the seven occupants, before the plane sank in about 500 feet of water. The plane has not been recovered.

Ken Kaye can be reached at kkaye@sun-sentinel.com or 954-385-7911.
Posted by:Aug 16th 2005, 08:37:36 am
Fig Tree News TeamFrom the Sun Sentinel:

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/southflorida/sfl-cpiper14aug14,0,2561994.story?coll=sfla-home-headlines

7 survive as plane crashes into sea off Fort Lauderdale
Toddler among them; pilot credited with saving lives

By Jean-Paul Renaud
and Brian Haas Staff Writer

August 14, 2005

A twin engine Piper airplane carrying seven people -- including a toddler -- crashed into the Atlantic Ocean Saturday, six miles southeast of Fort Lauderdale, where the waters can be as deep as 1,000 feet.

No one was severely injured, and only one passenger was taken to the hospital with minor wounds, according to U.S. Coast Guard officials. Those on the plane -- a fixed-wing, multi-engine aircraft built in 1980 -- credit the pilot with saving their lives.

"They just knew everything was going to be OK," said Tom Oster, who drove the survivors the Coast Guard station back to Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport, their intended destination. "They said that the pilot was very, very good and saved their lives."

Alicia Kathleen Falango was taken to Hollywood Memorial Hospital in stable condition. The Coast Guard could only release four other names: David MacDougall, Leslie MacDougall, William MacDougall and Christopher Cappelmann.

The pilot was not identified.

As they returned to the Twin Air's office from the Coast Guard station, Leslie MacDougall, carrying her son, William, in her arms, calmly said, "fine, everybody's fine."

David MacDougall, a Washington, D.C., resident who was a passenger on the flight, added, "It all happened so fast. [I was] pretty freaked out. I mean I don't normally crash a plane in the ocean everyday."

The plane, owned by Twin Air, was returning to Fort Lauderdale from North Eleuthera in the Bahamas when the airport received a mayday from the pilot. Coast Guard officials said they launched a helicopter, a cutter and two small boats to rescue them, and broadcasted a message to any nearby ships to be on the lookout for survivors. A fisherman spotted the passengers, who had been in the water for at least 30 minutes, took them onboard and dropped them off at the Coast Guard Station in Fort Lauderdale.

"[The fisherman] dropped them off at the pier, backed out and left," said Petty Officer Sandra Bartlett, a Coast Guard spokeswoman. "We didn't really get to talk to him. The Coast Guard would greatly like to express it's appreciation to the good Samaritan for being able to rescue all seven people. It's not uncommon for a good Samaritan to be humble by nature. It takes a humble character to be a hero."

The Federal Aviation Administration, along with the National Transportation Safety Board, will investigate the cause of the crash.

Twin-Air charters flights out of Fort Lauderdale and is owned by Clayton Gamber, who could not be reached for comment.

In October, a Twin-Air pilot ditched a Piper Navajo in the Atlantic Ocean off Pompano Beach after the plane had engine trouble on the way back from the Bahamas, according to federal crash records. The pilot, Denis Guillermo Murphy, stalled the plane and leapt into the water, crash records show. He survived with only minor injuries.

Another Twin Air plane, a Cessna 402, got a flat tire Tuesday during a landing at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport. The plane skidded off a runway and into some grass.

No one was injured during the landing, and the plane sustained some minor damage.

Staff Writers Robert Nolin and Sallie James and researcher Barbara Hijek contributed to this report.

Jean-Paul Renaud can be reached at jprenaud@sun-sentinel.com or 954-356-4556.
Posted by:Aug 16th 2005, 08:34:10 am
Fig Tree News TeamHeroic captain: `We still had some fishing to do'

BY ASHLEY FANTZ AND KEVIN DEUTSCH
afantz@herald.com

It was a beautiful cloudless day, and yacht captain Mike Sibley was out on the water looking to hook a little mahi-mahi.

But he got more than he bargained for.

The U.S. Coast Guard is crediting Sibley, 49, of Fort Lauderdale, and his mates on a 55-foot Hatteras named Spindrift for saving the lives of six people whose twin-engine plane landed in the Atlantic Ocean on Saturday, six miles from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

The plane, a Piper PA-31 built in 1980, went down about 4 p.m. southeast of the airport, according to Kathleen Bergen, spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration.

''We had our mind on the fish but we noticed this plane a ways out. It was flying pretty low,'' Sibley said Sunday. 'All of a sudden, my friend says, `Wow, that plane just hit the water!' ''

Sibley and others onboard, including four Florida State University students in bikinis, yanked their fishing equipment onto the deck and pushed full steam toward the wreck. In minutes, they were close. Sibley said he was shocked to see how fast the plane was sinking. Its tail was disappearing fast.

Everyone on the plane was able to scramble out and they were all in the water when the boat reached them. They included Alicia Kathleen Falango, 30, of San Francisco; Christopher Cappelmann of Hilton Head Island, S.C.; and a pilot whom the Coast Guard would not identify Sunday. A family from Washington, D.C., was also on board: David MacDougall who struggled to remain afloat while his wife Leslie treaded the choppy waters as she clutched their 8-month-old son William in her arms.

Before the crash, the pilot told the passengers: ''Put on your life jackets, we're going down,'' said Marguerite Falango, who talked to her daughter shortly after the crash.

She also said her daughter told her that David MacDougall placed his body on top of his son to protect him as the plane crashed, Marguerite Falango said by phone from her home in San Francisco. In the panic, the passengers were unable to find enough life jackets, she said. The pilot, baby and the baby's father went into the ocean without flotation devices, Marguerite Falango said.

After the crash, Leslie MacDougall stepped out onto the wing of the plane and handed the baby to Alicia Falango, a trained scuba diver, until she got into the water. Then she took William back into her arms, Marguerite Falango said.

Sibley unfurled a rescue ladder and had Leslie and her son climb up first.

Alicia Falango, 30, was helped onto the yacht next. The crash rattled her badly, her mother said. She was staying with a friend in Miami Sunday, afraid to get back on a plane.

''It was very scary for all of them,'' Marguerite Falango said.

But at least one of the passengers maintained his sense of humor. When Cappelmann reached the deck, he told Sibley, ``One minute I thought I was going to die, the next I'm on a yacht with girls in bikinis!''

Sibley radioed the Coast Guard and sped toward the U.S. Coast Guard station at John U. Lloyd Beach State Park. Falango had minor injuries and was treated at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood.

Sibley and his crew stuck around for awhile, answering questions from the FAA and other investigators.

But they decided to pull up anchor as soon as they could.

''We still had some fishing to do,'' he said. ``And it was a beautiful day. We wanted to enjoy what was left of it.''

On Sunday, the FAA's Bergen said it's unclear what caused the plane to go down.

The Piper, coming from North Eleuthera in the Bahamas, was preparing to land when something happened, Bergen said. The airport got a distress call from the pilot shortly before 4 p.m.

The plane was registered to the owner of Twin Air, a small airline that operates out of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International.

By late Sunday, Sibley had not talked to the survivors.

''I just thank God we were in the right place at the right time,'' he said. ``That's all that matters.''
Posted by:Aug 15th 2005, 07:27:22 pm
KimberlyI absolutely agree with you that the past year or so since Twin Air merged with the Calypso Air planes has been a bit tense, but the fact remains that yesterday's incident was NOT a crash per se. Huge difference in definition, whether you're the passenger OR the pilot. (Thanks to Fernando for keeping his cool during yesterday's incident, and for bringing everyone to safety).

In any case, Twin Air has had a stellar safety reputation over the years, ESPECIALLY with regard to most of the competition, and I'm just hoping that the offbeat events of the past year or so will prompt a more aggressive preventive maintenance schedule.
Posted by:Aug 15th 2005, 05:08:06 pm
RichardC'mon, KKB, Give me a break!! A "Controlled emergency landing" is onto a runway, not the Atlantic Ocean, for God's sake!! I'd sure call it a crash if I'd been in it!
Posted by:Aug 15th 2005, 11:54:53 am
Fig Tree News TeamWe'd like to note that there is a HUGE difference between a 'crash' and a controlled emergency landing. Twin Air has had an excellent safety record over the years, so let's give them the benefit of the doubt as the investigation continues.
Posted by:Aug 14th 2005, 11:48:10 am
KimberlyThank God for excellent pilots!
Posted by:Aug 14th 2005, 10:42:31 am
The Partyman7 survive as plane crashes into sea off Fort Lauderdale



Toddler among them; pilot credited with saving lives

By Jean-Paul Renaud
and Brian Haas Staff Writer
Posted August 14 2005




A twin engine Piper airplane carrying seven people -- including a toddler -- crashed into the Atlantic Ocean Saturday, six miles southeast of Fort Lauderdale, where the waters can be as deep as 1,000 feet.

No one was severely injured, and only one passenger was taken to the hospital with minor wounds, according to U.S. Coast Guard officials. Those on the plane -- a fixed-wing, multi-engine aircraft built in 1980 -- credit the pilot with saving their lives. "They just knew everything was going to be OK," said Tom Oster, who drove the survivors the Coast Guard station back to Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport, their intended destination. "They said that the pilot was very, very good and saved their lives."

Alicia Kathleen Falango was taken to Hollywood Memorial Hospital in stable condition. The Coast Guard could only release four other names: David MacDougall, Leslie MacDougall, William MacDougall and Christopher Cappelmann.

The pilot was not identified.

As they returned to the Twin Air's office from the Coast Guard station, Leslie MacDougall, carrying her son, William, in her arms, calmly said, "fine, everybody's fine."

David MacDougall, a Washington, D.C., resident who was a passenger on the flight, added, "It all happened so fast. [I was] pretty freaked out. I mean I don't normally crash a plane in the ocean everyday."

The plane, owned by Twin Air, was returning to Fort Lauderdale from North Eleuthera in the Bahamas when the airport received a mayday from the pilot. Coast Guard officials said they launched a helicopter, a cutter and two small boats to rescue them, and broadcasted a message to any nearby ships to be on the lookout for survivors. A fisherman spotted the passengers, who had been in the water for at least 30 minutes, took them onboard and dropped them off at the Coast Guard Station in Fort Lauderdale.

"[The fisherman] dropped them off at the pier, backed out and left," said Petty Officer Sandra Bartlett, a Coast Guard spokeswoman. "We didn't really get to talk to him. The Coast Guard would greatly like to express it's appreciation to the good Samaritan for being able to rescue all seven people. It's not uncommon for a good Samaritan to be humble by nature. It takes a humble character to be a hero."

The Federal Aviation Administration, along with the National Transportation Safety Board, will investigate the cause of the crash.

Twin-Air charters flights out of Fort Lauderdale and is owned by Clayton Gamber, who could not be reached for comment.

In October, a Twin-Air pilot ditched a Piper Navajo in the Atlantic Ocean off Pompano Beach after the plane had engine trouble on the way back from the Bahamas, according to federal crash records. The pilot, Denis Guillermo Murphy, stalled the plane and leapt into the water, crash records show. He survived with only minor injuries.

Another Twin Air plane, a Cessna 402, got a flat tire Tuesday during a landing at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport. The plane skidded off a runway and into some grass.

No one was injured during the landing, and the plane sustained some minor damage.

Staff Writers Robert Nolin and Sallie James and researcher Barbara Hijek contributed to this report.

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