On Friday afternoon, a small plane crashed into a parking lot after developing engine trouble shortly after taking off from the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport. All three people onboard were killed with no injuries on the ground.
According to Terry Knowles who owns the repossession lot, six of the destroyed vehicles were repos with the seventh being his own truck. His boat, mud buggy and camper were also destroyed while several other vehicles sustained lesser fire damage. Terry also indicated that he and one of his employees were in the lot at the time, which is part of a busy industrial area filled with warehouses and stores; but luckily they were not injured in the accident.
Apparently and in part according to Terry’s eyewitness account, the pilot made a classic pilot mistake: His engine failed after takeoff and he attempted to make the so-called “impossible turn” back to the airport. You can see some of our past articles about the impossible turn here with one of our articles quoting a pilot as saying:
…if the engine ever really did quit on takeoff below 500 feet, the best thing to do is just land straight ahead. Once you get above 500 feet (and get some airspeed) your options improve greatly, to maybe include a return to the field.
In other words, the pilot might have been better off trying to find a road or something to land straight ahead on, but he or she was flying over a well developed area and its probably to early to second guess the pilot’s decision making until an actual investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is concluded.
The Associated Press article posted on Yahoo! also listed several other high-profile crashes at the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport over the last decade with the latest incident no doubt going to lead to more scrutiny of the airport.