Fort Lauderdale

Pilot Reported Smoke Before Fort Lauderdale Plane Crash

A preliminary report on a fatal Fort Lauderdale plane crash says the pilot told air traffic controllers of smoke in the cockpit before trying to land.

The pilot and all three passengers aboard the twin-engine Piper aircraft died in the April 12 crash about a quarter of a mile from a runway at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport.

In the report released Thursday by the National Transportation Safety Board, investigators say the pilot reported no problems before the mention of smoke. After being cleared for landing, he called out "mayday" several times before crashing.

The report also notes the pilot had completed an initial training course on flying the Piper PA-31 plane just a week prior, though he had logged more than 1,200 hours of flight time overall.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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