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Witnesses to Fort Lauderdale Plane Crash Say Plane was Headed Back to Airport

031613_ff_planecrash_640.jpg Three South Florida men lost their lives Friday evening in Fort Lauderdale after the plane they were aboard crashed into a warehouse parking lot. The plane came down in a busy industrial area lined with tightly packed warehouses and stores between Northwest 53rd Street and Powerline Road. At least one dozen witnesses that were driving down Interstate 95 or working nearby placed calls to 911 to report the crash and the aftermath.

Wallace “Wally” Watson, sixty-six, his son, Kevin W. Watson, thirty, and Steven Waller, sixty-five, boarded the 1972 Piper Cheyenne plane allegedly to take a short test flight around 4:30 p.m. Friday evening. They had not long taken off before the plane started to experience technical difficulties. Witnesses say the plane appeared to be turning back towards the airport when it fell from the sky, first tilting sideways and then crashing into the parking lot. Many of the witnesses described a huge cloud of black smoke that came up from the parking lot after the crash. One woman that was close to the crash scene stated that she saw parts of the plane explode soon after it crashed.

In the coming days, federal investigators will look for the cause or causes of the crash, which is the fifth crash involving a plane using the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport since 2004. The National Transportation Board has taken over the investigation and will closely examine whether a mechanical failure or power outage caused the plane to tilt sideways and crash into the parking lot.

Callers to 911 report plane was attempting to head back to airport before Fort Lauderdale crash, www.palmbeachpost.com March 20, 2013


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