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July 11, 2011
A Niceville, Florida, family died on Saturday night when their Cessna 421C went down in a wooded area near an airport in Demopolis, Alabama. The victims include a 42-year-old pilot along with his wife, who was in her mid-30s, and their five children, ages 10, 9, 6, 4, and 2.
The family had been returning to Florida after a family reunion in St. Louis, Missouri. The plane took off Saturday from Creve Coeur Airport in Maryland Heights, Missouri, and its intended destination was a Destin, Florida, airport.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the pilot radioed authorities shortly before the crash to report engine trouble and to request clearance to land at the nearest airport. The pilot was told to head toward the Demopolis airport, located about 100 miles west of Montgomery, Alabama.
The plane then disappeared from the radar. Its wreckage was found at 2:17 a.m. on Sunday, two miles from the airport in a wooded area. The plane was upside down, and one of its wings was separated from the body.
Marengo County, Alabama, Coroner Stuart Harold Eatmon told St. Louis Today that he spoke to the pilot’s father, the grandfather of the five children who died. The man told Eatmon that he’d suggested to his son that he buy a newer plane.
“[The pilot] told his dad the plane had two new engines,” said Eatmon.
Do you feel safe flying an older model plane?
If you or someone you know has had their safety compromised on a commercial or private aircraft, contact the national aviation lawyers at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy.
Photo courtesy of ABC News
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