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Wed, Aug 09, 2006

Twin Beech Swims Wit’ Da’ Fishies

Second Cargo Aircraft In As Many Months Ditches In Caribbean Sea

A Tol-Air Services Inc. Twin Beech 18 (file photo, right) in cargo configuration was forced to ditch Tuesday in a canal on the west side of the island of Culebra, a municipality of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, itself a territory of the United States.

The pilot, Luis Hernandez, and crewmember Epifanio Mora, reported they had unspecified mechanical problems with the aircraft and were forced to ditch the aircraft in the Luis Peña Canal.

They were able to exit the aircraft after setting it down on the water, and were rescued by fishermen and residents of the area. They were treated at the municipal Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Culebra and were last reported in stable condition, sources told El Nuevo Dia.

Tol-Air Services spokesperson Juan Rivera stated the aircraft was returning from a cargo run to the island of Antigua, and was empty at the time of the accident. The aircraft is sitting under 20 feet of water in the canal, which lies under the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth Department of Natural Resources. The NTSB and FAA are investigating, and will decide if they aircraft will be salvaged as part of the investigation.

FMI: www.tolair.com

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