On December 26, 2011, an Aero Commander 560F, N560WM, crashed while the pilot attempted an emergency landing to Venice Municipal Airport, Venice, Florida following an engine failure. Tragically, the pilot was killed in the crash.
Review of communication between FAA Tampa and the Aero Commander revealed the pilot received an IFR clearance on the ground at Venice Airport. Shortly after takeoff, while climbing to an assigned altitude of 6,000 feet, the pilot reported he had lost engine power on the left engine. Tampa approach provided radar vectors and a descent back to Venice Airport where the pilot reported the airfield in sight and was cleared for a visual approach. There were no further radio communications with the pilot.
A witness stated he observed the airplane in the vicinity of runway 22 and saw it "pitching straight up, stalling, and spinning to the left three times" before it crashed.
The NTSB has initiated an investigation and will undoubtedly examine the aircraft's engines and flight controls as well as review any recent maintenance that may have been performed. Kreindler & Kreindler LLP has successfully prosecuted claims on behalf of victim's families in accidents involving twin engine aircraft like the Aero Commander. It is important to understand the legal issues which may affect your rights and recovery in a general aviation case, including the limitations created by the 1994 General Aviation Revitalization Act (GARA) which may be applicable in cases like this one involving aircraft that are more than 18 years old. If you have any questions concerning this accident please contact us.