Plane & Pilot

Cessna Caravan Departure Into Rising Terrain

Some countries play it close to the vest when it comes to controlling the investigations into airplane accidents. This is especially so when initial evidence calls into question the competence of a state airline or the government’s air traffic control system or pilots from their nations. More typical, however, is that nations welcome participation by expert investigators from other countries. That’s the way it was with Costa Rica when, on December 31, 2017, Nature Air Flight 9916 crashed shortly after departing Punta Islita Airport near Corozalito, Costa Rica.

Flight 9916 was a Cessna 208B Caravan operated by the Costa Rica airline Nature Air, which was based in San Jose. The flight operated as a commercial charter to carry 10 passengers, all U.S. citizens who had been staying at a resort, to the Juan Santamaría International Airport in San Jose, where they would catch flights back to the U.S. The pilots were Costa Rica nationals. All 12 people on board the Cessna were killed in the accident.

“A witness told investigators that he spoke with the pilots of both Nature Air flights that day and reported that they knew they had to use

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