Report: No mechanical problems in plane crash that killed Aspen man
December 22, 2008
MIAMI, Fla. ” No evidence of an equipment malfunction or a mechanical failure was found in either of the two small airplanes that collided in midair early this month over the Everglades, killing an Aspen resident and three others, according to a preliminary report released by the National Transportation Safety Board.
The report gives details of the Dec. 6 crash, in which four people died when a Cessna 172R and a Piper PA-44 Seminole slammed into each other during flight in a concentrated flight training area.
Andrew Marc Rossignol, a 21-year-old certified pilot giving lessons for Airline Transport Professionals, and student Bryan Sax, 37, of Aspen died in the Piper, owned by an Airline Transport Professionals flight training school.
Stuart Brown, a 25-year-old flight instructor, and certified pilot Edson Jefferson, 30, were killed in the Cessna, owned by Pelican Flight Training Center.
All four pilots had flying records clear of accidents, incidents and enforcements.
According to the report, the two planes were flying about 18 miles west of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport before they crashed about 4:30 p.m.
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Students at the Pelican Flight Training Center say Brown was reporting the Cessna’s position over a commonly used frequency while he and Jefferson were going over flight maneuvers before Jefferson was to take an instrument check ride.
Airline Transport Professionals reported that Rossignol was training Sax on his multiengine certified flight instructor rating. There was no report of any radio transmission from the Piper.
Neither plane had logged a flight plan.
The collision occurred at about 2,000 feet above ground level, according to radar data recorded at the Terminal Radar Approach Control in Miami.
The report does not indicate whether an air traffic controller was monitoring the radar before the collision, though both Federal Aviation Administration officials and NTSB officials have said they don’t believe the radar was being watched.
A call to an NTSB spokeswoman was not immediately returned.