Monday, September 24, 2007

BE 18 crashes next to Interstate-95 near Ft Lauderdale

Beechcraft Model 18Several days ago, a Beechcraft 18 crash landed near an interstate highway shortly after takeoff from Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE). The pilot, identified by news media as 34 year old Robert Robertson, had just left FXE en route to Nassau in the Bahamas when the accident happened. The small cargo aircraft crashed next to I-95, just a half mile from the airport in Florida. The pilot was seriously injured. He was alone aboard the aircraft at the time of the accident.

The FAA's preliminary accident report lists damage to the aircraft as "substantial," but a photo of the wreckage that accompanied an article about the Beechcraft accident on suggests it may have been a total loss. According to FAA records, the aircraft was registered to the Monarch Air Group in Palm City, FL.

While the cause of the accident has yet to be officially determined, quoted a local official who said the pilot "told the medics [who assisted him at the accident scene] the engine cut out on take-off." The pilot reportedly radioed a mayday to air traffic control within minutes after taking off. "The aircraft wasn't gaining altitude," said a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration. "Then, it went down."

UPDATE: An article about this accident on South Florida news website states that the pilot's condition has been upgraded from 'critical' to 'serious.' He suffered suffered head, arm and leg injuries. Best wishes to him for a quick and complete recovery.

The Sun-Sentinel article also has an embedded video with TV news footage of the accident scene.

UPDATE October 11, 2007: The NTSB preliminary report about this accident has been made public. Here's the link: NTSB Identification: NYC07FA234.

[Photo Source]