73ºF

Small plane that crashed in Miami-Dade County, killing 4, had overhauled propeller

NTSB preliminary report shows left engine propeller 'had been due for overhaul'

photo

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – A small plane that crashed in Miami-Dade County last week, killing all four people on board, had just gotten one of its engines overhauled, a preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board said Wednesday.

The twin-engine Beechcraft 1900 crashed into a field last Wednesday afternoon near Krome Avenue and Southwest 144th Street shortly after taking off from nearby Miami Executive Airport.

Four Venezuelans -- pilot Raul Chirivella, co-pilot Roberto Cavaniel, and passengers Juan Carlos Betancourt and Francisco DiMarco -- were killed in the crash.

According to the report, "maintenance records revealed that the left engine propeller had been due for overhaul."

It was removed and replaced with an overhauled propeller prior to the flight, which was the first after being installed, the report said.

The pilot reported an "engine failure" to air traffic control prior to the crash and was attempting to return to the airport when the plane struck a utility pole and crashed about two miles west of the runway, the report said.

"Witnesses observed the airplane flying low, with the left wing down and the left propeller turning slower than the right propeller," before it struck the pole, the report said.

The debris path extended about 240 feet from the main wreckage, the report said.

A "fire consumed a majority of the cockpit and cabin" after the crash, the report said.

Family friends told Local 10 News that the men were in South Florida to pick up plane parts to take back to Venezuela.

The plane, which had been manufactured in 1988, was headed for the Turks and Caicos at the time of the crash.

Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10

31217764