Plane crash in Bimini
Monday, 09 June 2008
A pilot escaped without injuries when his twin-engined aircraft, in which he was the sole occupant at the time, ditched into the sea between North and South Bimini, early Monday afternoon.
At about 1:10 pm, pilot Norman Aranha, 52 yrs of Charleston, Weston, Florida, departed from the Sir Lynden Pindling International Airport in New Providence after dropping off three passengers, headed back to the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood Executive Airport aboard the white Aero-Commander aircraft r/n N501AP, that is owned by Atlantic Jet Management Company. As he was flying over North Bimini, the right engine on the aircraft suddenly failed, resulting in the pilot turning around and descending in an attempt to land on South Bimini.
However, as he was approaching South Bimini, the left engine also failed, causing him to ditch the aircraft into the sea, about a half mile south of the tip of North Bimini, opposite the Bimini Sands Resort.
Chief Councillor Tasha Bullard-Rolle along with other persons who witnessed the aircraft going down into the sea, immediately dispatched several boats to the scene, one of which rescued the pilot and ferried him ashore at the Bimini Sands Marina.
The aircraft sank to the bottom in about 35 to 40 ft of water.
A local diver was able to retrieve the pilot’s personal belongings and the flight documents from the sunken plane.
The Civil Aviation Department out of New Providence, along with the National Transportation Safety Board in Washington, DC, will be conducting an investigation into this incident.