NTSB Final Report on 2017 Costa Rica Plane Crash Released: LoHud Interviews Ladd Sanger on Findings

Two years after a plane crashed in Costa Rica on New Year’s Eve, resulting in the death of 12 people, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released its final report. According to the report, the Cessna 208 aircraft faced a series of challenges before and after takeoff. LoHud spoke to Dallas Managing Partner Ladd Sanger on his analysis of the report’s findings.

Sanger points out that the plane flew into a box canyon – a situation where the plane is surrounded by terrain on three sides in a tight canyon, making turning difficult. Maneuvering in this type of terrain can be a life-and-death scenario that often ends in crashes. This type of situation typically happens regularly to small airplanes in the U.S. navigating the Rocky Mountains.

“Instead of stalling the airplane, some pilots are able to perform a controlled crash that involves slowing down to keep the plane flying and horizontal as long as possible to mimic a landing,” added Sanger. “People have amazingly walked away from those crashes.”

Sanger also point out the engine-use statistics as troubling, citing the high number of hours and cycles that are typical of South American tourist companies using planes for short flights.

“You have these little commuter flights where the airplane is flying 10 or 15 minutes to islands or over the jungle, and a lot of start ups and shut downs on the engine is very stressful,” said Sanger.

Read the LoHud article here. (Subscription is required)