San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rican Pilot Dies in Monteverde Plane Crash

A single-engine plane went down Wednesday in the north-central mountains of Monteverde, killing its pilot, Jaime Octavio Argudo, 39.

Argudo, an experienced pilot and airplane mechanic who was flying for the company Aeroparaiso, left JuanSantamaríaInternationalAirport in Alajuela, northwest of San José, at 5 a.m. and was headed to Liberia, in the northwestern Guanacaste airport, to pick up passengers, said Red Cross spokesman Mario Víquez.

Argudo was flying an Airvan singleengine plane made in Australia, registered in Costa Rica as TI-BAH.

He lost communication with air traffic controllers 35 minutes into the flight as he was cruising over the mountains of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve, where the plane and Argudo’s body were found shortly afterward by guards and Red Cross workers.

Civil Aviation officials are investigating the accident and have not yet determined what caused the plane to go down, said Pablo Escobar, of Civil Aviation’s Air Control Division.

Witnesses reported seeing the plane sway back and forth as it fell, which could indicate engine failure, he said.


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