Family members identify plane crash victims

Raul Chirivella pilot of plane that crashed in southwest Miami-Dade County

By Andrew Perez - Reporter

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. - Friends and family have identified several men on board a small plane that crashed Wednesday in southwest Miami-Dade County.

Relatives and friends of the pilot identified him as Raul Chirivella, who lives in Venezuela. Family friends also said Roberto Cavaniel, Juan Carlos Vetencourt De Lima and another person were on board the plane that went down after taking off from Miami Executive Airport.

The men were in town on business to pick up plane parts and take them back to Venezuela.

"He was a family man and he was a good guy," Adriana Chirinos, whose father was close friends with Chirivella, told Local 10 News. "He was a really good guy. We've known him for more than 30 years."

Aviation officials said the plane left Miami Executive Airport and was trying to return after an engine apparently failed. 

"It was shocking," Chirinos said.

The four men were on the twin engine Beechcraft 1900 headed for the Turks and Caicos, which is a common pit stop for planes heading to Venezuela.

It's unclear what caused the plane's engine to fail.

Relatives in Venezuela, some of whom are also pilots, said their loved ones are devastated. 

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