August 25, Marsh Harbour, Bahamas / Cessna 402B


At about 18:45 eastern time, a Cessna 402B crashed shortly after takeoff from Marsh Harbour Airport. The pilot and eight passengers were killed. Witnesses said the airplane lifted off and then nosed down, striking a marsh on the south side of the departure end of runway 27. The baggage from the airplane was removed and weighed. The total weight of the luggage, fuel and passengers showed that the total gross weight of the airplane was substantially exceeded. Preliminary center of gravity calculations showed that the center of gravity was significantly outside the flight envelope past the aft center of gravity. Preliminary information indicated that the pilot was not approved to act as pilot-in-command in the accident aircraft under Part 135. The owner of the charter company has only communicated to investigators through his attorney, and has not produced the aircraft or engine logbooks. The complete maintenance history of the airplane is unknown.


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