San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Two passengers injured during forced beach landing of private airplane

The forced landing of a small airplane in the Pacific province of Puntarenas resulted in two injured crew members Tuesday evening.

Nayuribe Vargas, spokeswoman for Civil Aviation Authority, told Channel 6 Repretel that the crew: Alexandro Borja, a Spanish national and Ronald Ray a U.S. citizen, were taken to local hospital Monseñor Sanabría for a physical evaluation. Red Cross responders who attended the injured crew members at site reported the patients’ condition “as stable.”

The aircraft, a Cessna 421, took off Tuesday afternoon in Liberia, capital of the northwestern province of Guanacaste, and was headed towards the Tobias Bolaños Airport in San José.

Civil Aviation reports stated that the pilot reported a malfunction of the plane’s navigation equipment, and he asked for help from the radar crew at the Juan Santamaría International Airport to reach a local airport in Chacarita, Puntarenas. However, the pilot was forced to land at a beach in the small community of Cocal at around 6 p.m.

On Wednesday the foreigners were discharged from the hospital. The plane’s owner decided not to recover the aircraft and to donate it to the community. A neighbor’s association will sell the aircraft as scrap and the funds will be invested in community projects.

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