Plane Crashed, Exploded In Flames On Impact
Saturday, April 07 2012 @ 09:46 PM UTC
Contributed by: Don Winner
THE FACTS - The event originated at 7:53 am, when the pilots of the plane Guillermo Palm and James Edward Smith William Cain, both 37, requested authorization from the control tower to initiate takeoff from runway 36. While they were at an altitude of 270 meters, still over the runway, the tragedy occurred. The plane plunged to the ground at the end of runway 18 (north), and then burst into flames.
The Aircraft Made Turns - After the accident, the Accident Investigation Unit of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) initiated the investigation to determine what might have caused the tragedy. A witness, who declined to give his name, told El Siglo that the aircraft likely suffered mechanical failure. "James attempted a maneuver to regain control of the aircraft, but unfortunately the aircraft circled back again towards the runway and went to one side, striking the ground twice," he said. The witness added after the first impact the plane recovered flight at a low altitude, then crashed again in about ten feet, where the device exploded. "Immediately the plane caught fire and was engulfed in flames," said the man visibly affected by the fact, he was a friend of one of the pilots who died. "James flew really well and was one of the best pilots," said the witness.
The plane Al-56 was owned by James, who owned it for ten years. "He frequently ordered the engine to be taken down for maintenance," said his friend, unable to hold back the tears.
Apparently, James reported that the aircraft had problems with the control tower and crashed minutes later, another witness said.
Investigation - The site of the tragedy reached officials from the Auxiliary Prosecutor, Criminal Investigation experts, and staff from the Airport Marcos A. Gelabert in Albrook, who conducted surveys of the corpses, which were completely charred. Also present was the Reverend Father Romulo Aguilar, of the Church of Santa Marty of Bethania, who gave the anointing of the pilots.
DECEASED - James Eduard Smith, according to the Public Relations office of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), was the president of the Aeroclub of Albrook and owner of the registered aircraft AL-56, which he owned for ten years. Guillermo Palm was the brother of the La Prensa journalist Mónica Palm. At the scene there were family members of the deceased pilots, who were shocked by the incident. Civil Aviation informed that this is the first fatal accident recorded in domestic aviation in 2012. (Siglo)
Editor's Comment: Sounds to me like possibly something broke which prevented the pilot from maintaining controlled flight. From the witness description of the crash, the pilot was apparently fighting with it, trying to get it straight, level, and on the ground safely. Tragic accident. Our heartfelt condolences to their friends and family.