Feb. 2, Bimini, Bahamas / Twin Beech


At about 14:07 EST, a Beech D18S operating as a Part 135 cargo flight was ditched in the Atlantic Ocean about 47 miles east of Bimini. The pilot was not injured and one passenger sustained minor injuries. The flight originated an hour earlier at Opa-Locka, Fla. The flight departed with all five fuel tanks full. While about 45 miles east of Bimini, climbing through 2,300 feet with a good rate of climb, the left manifold pressure dropped to 27 inches and the propeller rpm dropped to 1,300. The pilot reported no unusual vibration; the fuel pressure and oil pressure gauges indicated normal. He repositioned the fuel selector but the left engine would not restart. He then feathered the left propeller and secured the engine, but was unable to maintain altitude with full power applied to the right engine. The occupants remained in the water for 47 minutes, then were spotted by a U.S. Coast Guard Falcon airplane. They were rescued by a pleasure boat.


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