Feds investigating fatal plane crash at Lantana Airport - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Feds investigating fatal plane crash at Lantana Airport

By Chuck Weber email

LANTANA, FL (WFLX) - Thursday morning an investigator with the NTSB is scheduled to arrive at Lantana Airport to look for the cause of a crash that killed two people.

The Sheriff's Office says 68-year-old Jack Henderson and 78-year-old James Breazeal had worked on the plane for months and took off for a test run. But, witnesses say, the engine cut off and the plane lost altitude quickly, crashing into two planes parked at the airport.

"He banked real hard and when he banked hard he lost any altitude that he had," recalled Brad Coulson, an instructor for Palm Beach Helicopters. "His wing came down and touched, ended up making impact with one of the aircraft."

Henderson, the pilot, worked at the airport as a fuel truck operator. About an hour after the crash on Wednesday, a woman at the scene was overcome with emotion. People at the airport who know Henderson, say it was the man's daughter.

"Yep we just lost a good friend," said Dan Cavanaugh, who has an air charter service at the airfield. "It hits close to home, because it's such a close knit community. Going to miss him."

While no one on the ground was hurt, the wreckage littered an area where people are often present. "That's right where we load at," said Cavanaugh.

Gene Haynes owns the hangar where most of the plane debris is resting against. The engine broke loose and ended up a few dozen feet from the hangar building. "I've got a Jeep," said Haynes, "and it's normally parked where that engine came through."

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