On the 19th of December, 2005 around 2:30 in the afternoon a Chalk's Ocean Airways Grumman Turbo Mallard scheduled flight crashed into a channel next to the Port of Miami. The aircraft had 2 pilots and 18 passengers aboard, and no one survived this accident.
The flight had departed on a regularly scheduled flight to the island of Bimini in the Bahamas when the aircraft's right wing separated from the aircraft while climbing on a VFR flight plan in visual meteorological conditions. The aircraft had flown from Fort Lauderdale, FL to the Miami Seaplane Base before departing for Bimini. About 60 seconds into the flight the right wing came off of the aircraft causing it to crash into the water. Witnesses who observed the accident variable reported smoke, fire or a fireball in the sky when the wing separated from the aircraft. Lifeguards from the Miami Beach reached the accident site first on foot and jet skis but failed to find any survivors. The Miami Coast Guard had a helicopter on the accident scene within 7 minutes and began recovery efforts shortly thereafter. The NTSB found the probable cause(s) of this accident were as follows: The in-flight failure and separation of the right wing during normal flight, which resulted from (1) the failure of the Chalk's Ocean Airways maintenance program to identify and properly repair fatigue cracks in the right wing and (2) the failure of the Federal Aviation Administration to detect and correct deficiencies in the company's maintenance program. The moral of the story - once again proper maintenance is essential for the safe operation of an aircraft. Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch! JetAviator7 Most accidents originate in actions committed by reasonable, rational individuals who were acting to achieve an assigned task in what they perceived to be a responsible and professional manner. — Peter Harle, Director of Accident Prevention,Transportation Safety Board of Canada and former RCAF pilot, 'Investigation of human factors: The link to accident prevention.' In Johnston, N., McDonald, N., & Fuller, R. (Eds.), 'Aviation Psychology in Practice,' 1994.