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A small plane crashed into a house shortly after taking off from Ft. Lauderdale Executive Airport, Friday morning, April 17, 2009. The crash virtually sliced a vacant home down the middle into two charred pieces. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the plane, believed to be a twin engine Cessna 421, crashed around 11:20 a.m. and the house immediately burst into flames. The crash occurred about 2 miles from the airport, an FAA spokesman said. The plane was occupied only by the pilot, but it wasn’t immediately known if he or she survived this airplane crash.

According to witnesses, the plane was headed to Fernandina Beach, where airport officials expected it to land around 1:00 p.m. Shortly after takeoff, something went wrong with the plane’s engines and it reported trouble to the Air Traffic Controller (ATC). The ATC cleared the plane to turn around and land but the plane crashed before it could reach the airport.

This aviation/airplane crash was at least the fifth involving this airport in Florida, which caters to small planes and jets, in the last 12 years.

In 2007, a twin engine Beechcraft was able to reach about 150 feet after takeoff but suffered engine failure and the aircraft pilot crashed with the airplane.

In 2005, a DC3 cargo plane crashed shortly after takeoff. The plane crashed into a residential street near the airport and because of the pilot’s quick thinking, injuries were avoided.

In 2004, a Piper Cherokee crashed into the roof of an auto body shop shortly after takeoff, killing two people who were on the airplane and injuring a third. Likewise, in 1997, a new pilot died when he crashed his Beechcraft Skipper 77 into a tree near the airport in Florida just after takeoff.

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) records show that Cessna 421s have been involved in 12 fatal accidents since 2004.

Jim Lewis, a pilot/lawyer in our office, has handled numerous aviation/airplane crashes and regularly evaluates the causes of these types of accidents in the hopes of helping victims of serious injuries (or wrongful deaths) obtain appropriate compensation. The unique combination that Jim brings to the table as a pilot and a trial attorney makes him particularly effective in handling these types of injury or death cases. For an article about airplane crashes written by Jim Lewis, please click here.

Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm is based in Virginia (VA), near the Northeast North Carolina (NC) border, practicing primarily in the southeastern U.S. and handles only injury law, including car, truck, railroad, and medical negligence cases and more. The firm’s website is:, the firm edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, as well as the Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard and also hosts a video library covering many FAQ’s on personal injury subjects. Lawyers licensed in: VA, NC, SC, WV, DC, KY.

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