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NTSB releases report on 2019 Miami Air crash at NAS Jax

The report cites weather, among other factors, as causes for the crash.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — On May 3, 2019, Miami Air Flight 293, a Boeing 737 that took off from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, attempted to land at Naval Air Station Jacksonville. The jet overshot the runway and eventually settled in a shallow part of the St. Johns River.

There were seven crew members and 136 passengers on board the plane at the time of the crash. Of that, 21 people received minor injuries and three pets were trapped inside the plane's cargo hold. 

On Wednesday, the National Transportation Safety Board released its full report on the crash.  The report cites weather as a big factor but cited other factors as well.

In the moments before the flight was set to land at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, the flight suddenly changed its path due to the inclement weather, according to the NTBS report. However, the change led the flight through the center of the storm cell.

At the time of the crash, there was heavy rain, thunderstorms and wind at about 8 knots, or around 9 mph. Wind gusts reached as high as 16 knots, or about 18 mph, according to the report. These factors also caused low visibility of about three miles.

Captain Gabriel Cosentino, 55, was at the controls and had worked for Miami Air since March 2008, the report says. He had 7,500 hours of flying time prior to the crash. In an interview with investigators, he said he had flown into NAS Jax between five to ten times.

Cosentino also told investigators, "There was no concern about the weather, as the flight route took them west of it," the report says. 

He added he, "...did not remember the weather report received from the approach control," and called the landing, "pretty smooth," according to the report.

Cosentino has not been involved in any other accidents or incidents with Miami Air and was never disciplined for his prior job performance, according to the report.

First Officer Claudio Marcelo Jose La Franca, 47, and was fairly new to the company. He was hired in October 2018 and began training in January 2019, according to the report. He also had about 7,500 hours of flight experience prior to the crash.

In his interview, he told investigators, "...that there were thunderstorms developing," and he, "...recalled last seeing the airspeed at 100 knots and they were getting close to the end of the runway and not slowing," the report says.

It was his first flight to NAS Jax.

The report also reveals one of the two evacuation door slides failed to inflate as did one 46-person life raft. There were four life rafts on board.

The investigation finds the life raft's inflation hoses were not connected and states a review of the maintenance procedures where the parts were last tested is needed for a risk assessment.

First Coast News is still digging into the report but you can read full report by tapping this link.


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