TAMPA (CBSMiami) – Two investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board are traveling to Costa Rica to help with the investigation into a deadly plane crash over the weekend that killed 12 people, including 10 Americans.
Costa Rican officials say their investigation is focused on two things that may have caused the crash: mechanical problems and weather.
“There’s a human loss here that’s unspeakable,” said Tamara Steinberg Jacobson who lost her brother Bruce and his family in Sunday’s crash. She said she’s still waiting on details of the investigation.
When first responders arrived at the scene of the crash deep in the forests of Costa Rica, they found the wreckage of the single-engine Cessna in flames. The private charter flight, operated by the Costa Rican airline Nature Air, crashed just minutes after take off from a small airfield on the west coast. The plane was headed for the capital city of San Jose.
Aviation officials said before picking up passengers for the flight, the pilot had a problem.
“The Cessna Grand Caravan attempted to land just before 11 a.m. but winds of more than 28 miles per hour were too strong. The plane was forced to wait at a nearby airport before successfully attempting the landing a second landing. Thirty minutes later the plane departed with 10 Americans onboard and crashed,” wrote Eno Cubillo, Costa Rica Director of Civil Aviation, in a statement.
Mitchell and Leslie Weiss were also onboard with their teenage son and daughter. Spencer Horsby lives next door to the family’s home outside Clearwater.
“You never want it to happen to somebody that you know. And they were a good, good family,” he said choking back tears.
The two families onboard were part of a tour group led by Amanda Geissler, the 10th American lost in the crash.
Nature Air is calling the incident an “unfortunate tragedy” and said the pilot had more than 20 years of experience flying that model of aircraft.