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Florida pilot reacts to NTSB preliminary report of I-75 plane crash

Florida pilot reacts to NTSB preliminary report of I-75 plane crash
Posted at 9:36 PM, Feb 27, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-28 14:12:48-05

NAPLES, Fla. — The NTSB released the preliminary report of the I-75 plane crash in Naples on February 9. The report reveals the pilots had only seconds from the first warnings that the engines were going out to having to put the plane down on the interstate.

Both pilots died but a Florida pilot and instructor tells Fox 4 the facts in the report point to the two pilots and flight attendants performing heroic actions.

The crash that changed lives forever is still under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

A task that Captain Shem Malmquist, Florida Institute of Technology visiting instructor, says will take years to figure out, but with the released preliminary report we see the chain of events.

NTSB on Naples plane crash: Pilots had 74 seconds from warnings to I-75 landing (

The report says one minute and 14 seconds is how long the pilots had from the first warning to the tower losing contact as the plane crash-landed on I-75.

“In terms of flying a multi-engine jet aircraft that are extremely reliable, it is not part of something that we're normally thinking about," said Shem Malmquist. "That being said, the pilots would very quickly revert to that primary training that they had."

A decision the pilots made knowing they had to land somewhere and would not have enough power or altitude to reach the airport that was three miles away.

"They aimed for what was going to be the location where they could minimize the risk to people not only on board the airplane, but also people on the ground," said Malmquist.

Captain Malmquist pointed to a measure of control on the failing aircraft.

"They did avoid something that is unfortunately common in some of these events, which is let the aircraft get too slow and then lose control before hitting the ground," said Malmquist. "If they had done that, then everybody would have been lost for sure. These pilots did a good job. There's no way around it.”

He also noted the actions of the flight attendant who saw fire blocking all the exits but guided two passengers out of a baggage compartment in the back of the plane.

“Corporate airplanes are not required to have somebody with that kind of skill set," said Malmquist. "They were extremely fortunate that this company and this operator chose to do that.”

Malmquist adds that jet fuel is almost completely clear. However, the report also notes fuel from the right engine fuel filter bowl and heat exchanger "displayed a yellowish tint."

"That's what makes it a bit puzzling because if there was fuel contamination normally we see that pretty early in the flight, not late on the flight"

It is clear in this preliminary flight the pilots followed training to try and limit the loss of life to others, even as they died in the process.