Preliminary report into Long Island crash released

A preliminary report into the June 5th Long Island plane crash that left one woman dead revealed that both the left and right engines declined shortly after takeoff. However, the cause of the accident is still under investigation.

According to the report, the pilot conducted pre-flight checks on the Piper Navajo aircraft before taking off from Deadman’s Cay Airport around 9:05 a.m.

“The pilot further stated that during the climb phase and shortly after the aircraft’s gears were retracted, he observed a warning light that indicated low oil pressure,” the report states.

“Shortly thereafter and at approximately 200 feet, the left engine power started to decline significantly. An attempt was made to return to the airfield. Shortly thereafter, the right engine power also started to decline.

“The pilot stated that at that moment he advised the passengers to brace for impact. The terrain warning aural alarm could be heard in the aircraft. Both pilot and several passengers interviewed confirmed that an alarm was heard throughout the accident sequence up until the aircraft made contact with the surface.

“The aircraft made contact with several trees before impacting the ground, coming to rest approximately 75 feet after initial contact with trees.”

The report notes that the scene of the crash was located approximately two nautical miles from the Deadman’s Cay Airport in dense brush.

“The pilot and five of the passengers were able to exit the aircraft after it came to a stop,” the report continued. “The female passenger who sat at the rear of the aircraft was ejected and found lying approximately five feet from the rear door of the fuselage by the other passengers as they exited the aircraft.

“She appeared to be unconscious and the pilot along with another passenger rendered assistance. Initially it seemed that she drifted in and out of consciousness and later appeared to be in distress. Life saving measures inclusive of CPR were utilized. All attempts were unsuccessful and she subsequently succumbed to injuries sustained as a result of the crash sequence.

“The deceased female passenger was later flown to Nassau where an autopsy to determine cause of death was performed on June 9, 2022. According to records obtained from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the United States of America, the pilot was issued an Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) with airplane-single and multi-engine land and instrument airplane ratings. Also, according to records obtained from the FAA, the pilot was in possession of a first class medical certificate issued in May 2016.”

The report added, “As a result of the accident, the pilot and five of the passengers received injuries in varying degrees… After being seen by medical personnel in Long Island, the surviving passengers were airlifted to Nassau, Bahamas for further medical attention.”

Four of the passengers were seriously injured.

The survivors were identified as pilot Brad McPhee, Nia Bethel-Sears, Leannka Rigby, Patsy Higgs, Rhiannon Thompson and Alicia Rolle.

Aleitheia Newbold, 22, who had a six-month-old daughter, died.

According to the report, the accident aircraft was recovered from the scene and transported to the United States where AAIA investigators and investigators from the manufacturer of the aircraft (airframe) and engines will conduct further inspections and analysis to determine cause of the accident.

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