Pilot Loses Consciousness Before Crashing into Ocean; Plane was Headed to Fort Lauderdale
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – According to an online news report at sun-sentinel.com, when two Air Force planes caught up with a small Cessna airplane, they witnessed an awful sight; an experienced male pilot was found “unconscious and slumped over the controls.”*
The military’s account of the pilot was part of a recently released accident investigation report by the National Transportation Safety Board. This preliminary report indicates that the pilot’s Cessna veered off of its flight path back in late May of this year and crashed nose first into the Atlantic Ocean about three hundred miles from Fort Lauderdale.
The male pilot was hired to fly the Cessna owner’s newly purchased airplane from St. Louis Regional Airport located in Alton, Illinois to Fort Lauderdale’s Executive Airport in order to have some “avionics” work performed on the aircraft.
Per the preliminary report, the flight was going in its normal course until air traffic controls lost communication with the male pilot. This is when the Air Force “dispatched two aircraft to intercept the accident airplane.” The two Air Force military planes followed the Cessna until it fell into the Atlantic Ocean.
The United States Coast Guard initiated a search to find the pilot and the aircraft but were unsuccessful. The pilot had over nine thousand hours of flight experience.
As part of the National Transportation Safety Board’s ongoing investigation, the pilot’s medical history will be examined to ascertain whether illness caused the accident, per an agency spokesperson. It could take up to eighteen months for the investigation will be completed and a final accident report issued.
There are no further details on the accident at this time. The crash remains under investigation.
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