Florida Air Cargo Beach 18 Goes Down Off The Coast Of Bimini

Florida Air Cargo Beach 18 Goes Down Off The Coast Of Bimini  

 On February 2, 2000 a Florida Air Cargo Beach 18 cashed in the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 47 miles east of Bimini, Bahamas. The weather was reported to be VFR, the flight was under Part 135 cargo flight. The airplane was substantially damaged and the commercial-rated pilot was not injured, one passenger sustained minor injuries. 

The flight originated about 1305 from the Opa-Locka Airport, Opa-Locka, Florida. The pilot stated that the flight departed with all five fuel tanks full of fuel and departed with the left fuel selector positioned to the "main tank" position. The flight continued and approximately 10 minutes after takeoff, he switched the left fuel selector to the auxiliary position and remained on that tank for approximately 35 minutes. 

The craft appears largely intact in shallow water near Bimini.

When the flight was approximately 20 miles east of Bimini, he switched the left fuel selector to the main tank position where it remained for 5 minutes before he added climb power. While about 45 miles east of Bimini, climbing through 2,300 feet with a good rate of climb, the left manifold pressure dropped to 27 inches and the propeller rpm dropped to 1,300. He turned to fly to Bimini, broadcast a mayday call, and reported no unusual vibration; the fuel pressure and oil pressure gauges indicated normal. He repositioned the fuel selector but the left engine would not restart. He then feathered the left propeller and secured the engine but was unable to maintain altitude with full power applied to the right engine.

The airplane was ditched in a slight left wing low attitude and the left engine separated from the airframe. Both occupants exited the airplane, remained in the water for 47 minutes, then were spotted by a U.S. Coast Guard Falcon airplane. They were rescued by a pleasure boat and transported to the east coast of Florida. The investigation is under the jurisdiction of the government of the Bahamas.

Forida Air Cargo has had problems in the past. On February 17, 1999, about 0945 eastern standard time, a Douglas DC-3C, N15MA, registered to Florida Air Cargo, Inc., operating as a Title 14 CFR Part 135 cargo flight, crashed into a fence on landing at Nassau International Airport, New Providence Island, Bahamas. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an IFR flight plan was filed. The airplane sustained substantial damage and the ATP-rated pilot and copilot were not injured. The flight departed Opa Locka Airport about 0815.

The CEO of the cargo carrier stated that the pilot reported to him that the landing was a hard touchdown that caused a bounce and a slightly left swerve. The pilot over corrected the swerve with power, and a right excursion off the runway ensued. The airplane collided with the airport's perimeter fence.

On December 22, 1995, about 1020 eastern standard time, N123DZ, a Douglas DC-3, operated by Florida Air Cargo Inc., struck a sign on landing roll at Nassau, Bahamas, while on a 14 CFR Part 135 on-demand, international, cargo flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and a DVFR flight plan was filed. The airplane was substantially damaged and the two airline transport-rated crewmembers were not injured. The flight originated from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, about 50 minutes earlier. The crew stated that at the end of the landing roll the left horizontal stabilizer struck a runway sign.
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