EST, 06.13.05: An aircraft, reported to be a Douglas DC-3,
has apparently crashed shortly after a VFR takeoff from the Ft.
Lauderdale (FL) Executive Airport. Witnesses report that the
aircraft appeared to be "struggling" shortly after departing the
airport, and that the aircraft went down in a residential area just
outside the field.
Impact occurred on a nearby street, surrounded by a number of
Liz Calzadilla-Fiallo, a spokeswoman for the Broward County
Sheriff's Office, reported that, "It's a DC-3 and we don't know if
it's passenger or cargo... It may have struck a structure
before crashing into the roadway."
No injuries were reported to any persons on the ground.
The aircraft departed FXE at 1548 local time, and impacted about
three miles from the airport. Media reports indicate that three
person on board have been removed from the aircraft and
transported to the local hospital.
identified as pilot Charles Riggs, co-pilot Charles Wirt and
passenger Hector Espinoza. All three were in fair condition at Holy
Cross Hospital, according to hospital spokeswoman Maria
Soldani also reported that, "They are sitting up talking (on)
their cell phones."
The aircraft's impact appears to have been fairly violent. Video
from the scene shows much of the fuselage and wings consumed by
fire and little of the airframe left intact. The DC-3/C-47 line has
a considerable and respected history... which spans some 70
The twin-engine taildragger retractable is well-known for
excellent handling, short-field capabilities and its rugged nature.
The plane, registered to John W. Andrews of Wichita Falls, Texas,
was bound for Marsh Harbor, Bahamas, when it went down.
More info to follow.