Plane Did 'Cartwheel' Before Costa Rica Crash

Crash wiped out 2 American families
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 2, 2018 1:14 AM CST
The burnt wreckage of a Nature Air plane is seen in a wooded area in Corozalito de Nandayure, near Punta Islita, Guanacaste province, Costa Rica, Monday, Jan. 1, 2018.   (AP Photo/Berny Araya)
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(Newser) – The single-engine turboprob plane that crashed in Costa Rica Dec. 31 did what looked a "cartwheel" maneuver before going down in a wooded area, a witness says. "It was kind of low and I looked up to see it turn. I turned away and then heard the crash. It had only been in the air a minute or so," witness Matt Wolfe tells the New York Daily News. "My wife watched the whole thing. She thought the plane was doing some kind of barrel roll acrobatic maneuver." Costa Rican investigators say they believe the crash, which killed 10 Americans and their two Costa Rican pilots, was caused by either strong winds or a mechanical issue with the Cessna 208B Caravan, the AP reports.

The crash killed the Steinberg family of Scarsdale, NY: Parents Bruce and Irene and their teen sons Matthew, William, and Zachary. Florida husband and wife Mitchell and Leslie Weiss also died, along with their daughter, Hannah, 19, and 16-year-old son, Ari. The president of the Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater, Fla., where Leslie Weiss was a pediatrician and Mitchell Weiss was head of interventionist radiology, released a statement saying the facility is "forever grateful" for their work, the New York Times reports. The 10th America killed in the Nature Air crash was 33-year-old Amanda Geissler, a tour guide from Wisconsin. The names of the crew members have not been released.

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