Pilot blacked out in fatal air crash

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May 07, 2021

The Air Accident Investigation Authority’s preliminary report into the matter said: “The pilot stated that after he selected gear up, he ‘proceeded to climb to 1,200 feet’ and his next memory was ‘being in the water with the crew door blown open and two Bahamian men shouted at me from approximately 300 yards away on land, ‘sir, are you okay, do you need help?’.”

The plane left the South Bimini International Airport at night on April 16 and was headed for the Opa Locka Airport in Florida. While the pilot sustained serious injuries, his son died “as a result of the crash sequence and subsequent submersion in the waters at the end of the runway environment.”

According to the AAIA, the pilot is a US certified commercial pilot with ratings for airplane land, single and multi-engine as well as an instrument airplane rating. His medical certificate was valid at the time of the crash. His son also held a valid US certified private pilot – single engine land – airplane rating.

“It is unknown what role (if any) the second pilot played during the take off to the crash sequence,” the AAIA said.

Accident investigators also said: “The aircraft was airborne momentarily and may have reached an altitude between 50 to 100 feet. Due to the darkness at the time of departure, security camera coverage from the airport terminal building captured the lights of the aircraft and it could be seen from its take off roll on the surface, to the point where it got airborne, started to climb and shortly thereafter, where it disappeared from camera view in the waters beyond the runway environment.”

One eyewitness to the crash said he saw the plane climb to 40 feet and come down seconds later, landing with a thud.

“Both engines separated from the aircraft on impact and were found to the left of the aircraft’s final resting place,” the report said. “The left engine was located in waters approximately 54 feet left from its installed location on the aircraft. The right engine was located in waters approximately 53 feet from its installed location on the aircraft, both engines were found 18.5 feet apart.

“The weather conditions at the time of the accident were night. A weak high-pressure ridging was forecasted to continue to dominate the weather and the Bahamas throughout the night. However, no significant weather was anticipated.”

According to international reports, family members have identified the pilot as 59-year-old Andre Wade and his son who died, 20-year-old Kyle Wade.

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News date : 05/07/2021    Category : Accident/Emergency, Tribune Stories

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