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Charity Flight Down In Mexico, Pilot Fatally Injured

Three Teenagers Aboard The Cessna 182 Survive The Accident

A volunteer pilot from Phoenix, AZ was fatally injured Saturday when the Cessna 182 he was flying went down shortly after takeoff from an airport in the state of Sinaloa, Mexico. The three teen-aged volunteers aboard the aircraft survived the accident. Two were reported to be in good condition in a hospital in Los Mochis, Mexico. The third, an 18-year-old girl, was said to be in critical condition.

The flight was being undertaken on behalf of Liga International, Flying Doctors of Mercy. The organization brings health care to people at three clinics in Sinaloa. The three teenagers, a 15-year-old from southern CA and two high-school seniors from the San Diego area, were also volunteers for the organization. Many young people who volunteer with the group are interested in careers in medicine.

A photograph shows the Cessna in a body of water. The flight was transporting the teens from a clinic in El Fuerte to one in El Carrizo ... normally about a 10 to 15 minute trip.

Liga International, Flying Doctors of Mercy spokesperson Pat Spier, a registered nurse, told television station XETV in San Diego that the group has operated between 4,500 and 5,000 round trip flights to Sinaloa since the last accident occurred in 1995. Up to 25 planes fly as many as 95 volunteers to Sinaloa each weekend, she said. The volunteers include doctors, nurses, dentists, students, translators, and pilots. They offer health care services at the three clinics one weekend each month from October to June. (Map shows approximate location of state of Sinaloa)

FMI: www.ligainternational.org

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