San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Nature Air Flight Crashes in Tamarindo

A Nature Air airplane with eight occupants, including two French citizens and two U.S. citizens, crashed as it attempted an emergency landing Dec. 16, approximately half a mile from the Tamarindo Airport in the northwestern province of Guanacaste, according to the Red Cross. All those aboard survived the accident.


The passengers and crew were taken to area medical centers, treated for light injuries and later released, except the pilot, María del Rocío Vargas, 32, and a French tourist, Jacques Bitoune, 72, who remained hospitalized, both with broken bones, the daily La Nación reported.


The airplane, a twin-engine 15- passenger Twin Otter, crashed into trees in a forested area at approximately 11:50 a.m. as the pilot attempted make an emergency landing, Nature Air General Manager Carlo Sosto told The Tico Times.


The Civil Aviation Authority and Nature Air are investigating the accident. Sosto said that no further information will be available on the cause of the accident until the investigation is completed. This is the first accident ever for Nature Air, he added.


The other occupants of the plane were copilot Gustavo Carrera, Luis Gerardo Gómez, José Lluguno, Peter Noble and Audy Smith of the United States, and Jacques Bititoune and Floruy Davtrien from France, the Red Cross reported.


Nature Air announced a new Tamarindo office and environmental donations this week (see story, page 17).


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