April 20, 2007, Cudjoe Key, Fla., Cessna 182Q


At about 2313 Eastern time, the airplane collided with an aerostat cable and crashed. The Private pilot and two passengers received fatal injuries; the airplane was destroyed. The flight originated in Key West, Fla., at about 2300. Night visual conditions prevailed and an IFR flight plan had been filed. The pilot had been in radio contact with ATC and had been informed of the aerostat, which was being operated normally at an altitude of 8000 feet. At 2315, the aerostat flight director logged “an airplane may have crashed off the north pad into the channel” and, at 2328, the log showed that the flight director initiated cable retraction. During the course of the retraction it was discovered that the cable had incurred damage at its 4533-ft level.


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