San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Nature Air Flight Breaks Off Wing

THE wing broke off a Nature Air plane Tuesday after it hit an electricity post and fence during take-off from Puerto Jiménez, on the southern Osa Peninsula, shortly before noon.


None of the 11 passengers, pilot and co-pilot suffered significant injuries, according to Red Cross spokesman Alexander Morales.


Rescue workers treated Eric Yoos, 50, and Clara Touregny, 21, both from the United States, for nervous breakdowns and bruises. The names and nationalities of the other passengers were not released.


The plane was a twin-engine Twin Otter, Cruz said, with capacity for 19 passengers and two crewmembers.


Flight 141 from Puerto Jiménez to San José was scheduled to leave at 11:45 a.m.


“Difficulties registered at the moment of take-off, which caused the plane to shift to the left and face obstacles in the airport space. The pilot then stopped the plane and it banged its wing on a light post and fence,” the statement said. The daily La Nación reported that the left tire exploded.


Civil Aviation Authority workers are in Puerto Jiménez investigating the mishap, Aviation Director Rodolfo Cruz said.


Nature Air is also conducting its own investigation, said Sales and Marketing Director Alexi Huntley.


“The pilot tried to stop take-off, which happens occasionally, and we’re trying to find out why that happened,” Huntley said.


Last Dec. 16, eight passengers survived a Nature Air crash when another twin-engine Twin Otter attempted an emergency landing in Tamarindo, in the northwestern Guanacaste province (TT, Dec. 23, 2005).


The eight passengers aboard were taken to area medical centers. Six were treated for light injuries, and two were hospitalized with broken bones.


Nature Air began flying in 1991 under the name Travel Air and changed names in 2000. The airline offers 74 flights daily, including a new flight to Bocas del Toro, Panama (see separate story).


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