Jackson Memorial Hospital

Federal Investigators Examine Pompano Beach Plane Crash

A team of federal investigators are working to figure out what caused a small plane to crash into a Pompano Beach neighborhood Monday afternoon.

Smoke was seen for miles after the Beech BE-76 aircraft went down shortly after departing from Pompano Beach Airport around 3 p.m. The plane crashed next to several houses in the 900 block of Harbour Drive.

Two men and a woman were on board the plane. All three survived the crash but suffered severe injuries with burns on 30-40 percent of their bodies, according to officials.

According to the Broward Sheriff's Office, the plane was piloted by 40-year-old Geoffrey White. Students Sylvia Mena, 23, and Fernando Diaz,  25, were also on board.

The three victims were taken to the extensive burn center at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Mena was in critical condition Tuesday. The conditions of the other victims were unknown.

Investigators with the NTSB spent all day Tuesday documenting the site, including the impact marks and the aircraft, including the engines and the air frame in order to make sense of the wreckage and figure out what caused the plane to go down.

"It's always wonderful when people survive any kind of accident. And what's gonna be good about this is that we have three witnesses who were actually on board the airplane and once their medical condition allows we will be planning to interview them as well," NTSB safety investigator Leah Read said.

The plane clipped at least one home but there were no injuries in the house, fire rescue officials said.

According to FAA officials, the pilot had been practicing takeoffs and landings when the crash happened. One of the victims was a flight instructor, while the other two were students, officials said.

A man who rushed in to help the victims said he was stunned by what he saw.

"We went straight to the back, banging on all the doors, going in windows," Warren Beck said. "I'm probably 20 feet from the plane and I hear, 'we're over here.' I look through the bushes, all three of them are standing in the yard in the back, right next to the engine."

Beck said he used work blankets that were in his truck to comfort the victims and was cradling the woman.

"She says 'please get me out of the sun' and the fireman said 'go ahead, you can move her,'" Beck said. "Skin was peeled off about four to five, six inches off her arms, she was going through a lot."

Stay with NBC 6 for updates on this developing story.

Contact Us