Broward County, Florida – A mid-air collision of two flight school planes Saturday above the Florida Everglades left four people dead.
Investigators resumed their search for the bodies of the four people who were killed when the two aircraft collided over the Everglades in West Broward.
The aircraft, a single-engine Cessna and a twin-engine Piper, slammed into each other Saturday afternoon in an area where South Florida flight instructors regularly take students to practice.
Among those killed in the aviation accident were Stuart Brown, a flight instructor, Bryan Sax, of Colorado, and Edson Jefferson, a pilot from Miramar.
The fourth victim has not yet been identified.
The Cessna took off from North Perry Airport in Pembroke Pines and the Piper took off from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
”From what I understand, radar shows the two air-crafts merging,” Eric Alleyne, an aviation safety inspector with the National Transportation Safety Board, said of the midair collision. “Right now we need to get the aircraft out and see what we are actually dealing with.”
The radar data will be important in figuring out what caused the plane crash.
Police used air-boats to reach the crash site.
Police had not released the identity of the victims, but three were identified by friends and relatives.
25 year old Brown, a flight instructor from Pembroke Pines and his student, 30 year old Jefferson from Miramar were on board the Cessna.
37 year old Sax of Aspen Colorado, the student and one unidentified person believed to be a flight instructor with Airline Transport Professionals Corp. of Wilmington, Del. were on board the Piper.
One relative was understandably upset.
”We just want rescuers to get the bodies out of that swamp as soon as possible; that’s our main concern now,” said Brown’s aunt Sharon Burton-Lofton of New York.
Meg Fensome, vice president of the Pelican Flight Training Center at North Perry Airport, confirmed that Brown was the instructor killed along with a student aboard the school’s Cessna.
She declined to release any more information for now.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the federal agency charged with investigating air plane crashes, estimates that nearly 83% of all general aviation accidents are the result of pilot error. However, that is not always the case.
Often, aviation accidents are the result of poor aircraft maintenance or air-traffic controller error.
If you have been injured or a loved one has been injured or killed in a Florida aviation accident involving a flight school airplane, a commercial airplane, a charter plane, a helicopter or a private air plane, contact a Florida aviation accident lawyer today.