Investigators: Plane Silent as it Fell to Beach

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News Release: Associated Press
August 15, 2014

VENICE, Fla. (AP) -- Federal investigators say a small plane that crash-landed on a Florida beach, killing two people, wasn't making any noise as it descended over groups of people the pilot was trying to avoid.

The National Transportation Safety Board on Thursday released its preliminary report on the July 27 crash on a Venice beach.

The plane's engine lost power as it flew over the water. Investigators say the pilot was concerned that his plane would flip over if he landed in deep water, and he aimed for a spot along the beach where he thought there were no people.

Witnesses told investigators that the plane wasn't making any noise as it descended.

The crash killed a man from Fort Stewart, Georgia, and his 9-year-old daughter. The pilot and a passenger weren't injured.

News Release: Associated Press
July 29, 2014

SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) -- Law enforcement officials in Florida say a 9-year-old girl has died from injuries suffered when she was hit by a plane that crash-landed on the beach where she was walking with her father.

The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday morning that they were notified by the medical examiner's office that Oceana Irizzary had died. The child's father, 36-year-old Sgt. 1st Class Ommy Irizarry, died Sunday.

They were walking along Caspersen Beach in Venice Sunday afternoon when the 1972 Piper Cherokee plane made an emergency landing after reporting problems. Officials say the father and daughter were hit by either the plane or its debris.

The family is from Fort Stewart, Georgia. Ommy Irizarry and his wife, Rebecca, were celebrating their ninth wedding anniversary Sunday.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

News Release: Associated Press
July 28, 2014

VENICE, Fla. (AP) -- A Georgia man is dead and his 9-year-old daughter is in the hospital with critical injuries after they were hit by a small plane that made an emergency landing on a Florida Gulf Coast beach.

The Piper Cherokee crash-landed Sunday afternoon, losing a wheel, damaging a wind and smashing a propeller.

The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office identified the victims as 36-year-old Ommy Irizarry and his daughter Oceana.

Officials told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune the victims were either hit by the plane or its debris.

Irizarry died at the scene. His daughter was airlifted to All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg.

Officials say the plane was trying to land on Caspersen Beach after making a distress call to Venice Airport at 2:45 p.m. The beach is south of the airport

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