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12 Dead in Costa Rican Charter Plane Crash

The year’s end has seen a devastating tragedy just hours before 2018. Two American families, an American travel guide, and two Costa Rican pilots were making their way above Costa Rica when their plane cartwheeled and crashed into the ground. Spectators say the plane appeared to be performing an “acrobatic maneuver,” but in reality the pilots were trying to brace the plane for impact.

An eyewitness said onlookers came to aid anyone who may have been hurt in the crash, but upon arriving at the scene no one was found alive. One witness claimed “There was lots of black smoke. Several trees were on fire and just the tail section of the plane was visible.”

Among the deceased are a family of five hailing from Scarsdale, NY, a family of four from Belleair, FL, a tour guide from Salt Lake City, UT, and the two native pilots from Costa Rica-one of whom is the cousin of a former President of Costa RIca.

The group was reportedly on its way to the capital of Costa Rica, San Juan, from Punta Islita, which is near the Pacific Coast. The plane had been delayed earlier in the day due to strong winds that forced the pilots to land outside of their destination, causing them to be late in arriving at Punta Islita. The plane had left the runway around 12:10 in the afternoon when only 10 minutes later, the plane crashed near Nandayure, a town in the Nicoya Peninsula. The Cessna 208B Caravan was piloted by a reportedly experienced pilot.

This is the second fatal crash within four months for the charter flight business, Nature Air, now totaling 14 deaths in the past 120 days. Experts say that the crashes appear to be isolated incidents that do not suggest a deeper problem. Nature Air has yet to give a statement regarding the accident and the cause of the crash is still unknown.

In response to the accident, the President of Costa Rica writes, “The government vows to do everything necessary to help the victims' family members in whatever they need in this difficult moment and sends them the solidarity of all the Costa Rican people.”