NTSB Releases Preliminary Report on Pompano Beach Plane Crash

Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board have released new details after a small plane to crashed into a Pompano Beach neighborhood last week.

According to the NTSB report, the Beech 76 twin-engine airplane was destroyed just after takeoff from the Pompano Beach Airpark on Monday, April 25. Smoke was seen for miles after the plane went down around 3 p.m., crashing 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, 40-year-old Geoffrey White was piloting the plane. Students Sylvia Mena, 23, and Fernando Diaz, 25, were also on board.

Mena remains at Jackson Memorial Hospital in good condition.

The NTSB report indicates that an air traffic controller cleared the plane for takeoff and watched it make a normal departure and right turn. When the plane was about 400 to 500-feet in the air, it made a sharp right then a sharp left then took a steep nose down toward the ground.

The plane then disappeared behind a tree line followed by an explosion.

The controller told investigators he didn't hear the plane but said the landing gear was retracted.

A second controller on the ground told investigators that the plane made a "hard left turn from a southerly heading to a northerly heading" before disappearing behind trees and appearing to level out. That controller also reported seeing smoke and fire soon after.

Investigators also looked at the plane wreckage and determined that the plane initially hit a home. The plane's fuel tank breached, causing a section of that home to catch fire. As the plane continued to descend, investigators say it hit a wooden fence, several trees and a concrete wall of another home before landing in a backyard.

They say the plane finally came to rest about 150 feet away from that initial point of impact.

A fire started in the plane's cockpit, fuselage and portions of the left and right wings. The plane also sustained damage from the impact of the crash.

The report indicates that the flight instructor was certified and had reported 1,000 flight hours in his last first class FAA medical.

The male student had logged about 218.6 hours, 2.4 of which were on the plane involved in the crash.

No information was available on the female student.

The report did not specify what caused the plane to crash. Officials say it could take up to a year for that information to be determined and released.

The plane was registered to N6709Y LLC and operated by Florida Aviation Academy in Pompano Beach.

According to FAA representatives, the instructor was providing multi-engine training for the two students at the time of the crash.

This is a developing story and will be updated as new information becomes available.

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