Fort Drum, FL Plane Crashes On Highway, Jan 1994


Fort Drum, Fla. (AP) -- A fiery plane crash on a rural road killed 10 people including a Japanese newlywed couple and six relatives.
The twin-engine Beechcraft King Air reported engine trouble shortly after takeoff Wednesday evening said Jeff Kennedy of the National Transportation Safety Board. It circled and tried to land on an isolated stretch of U.S. 441.
"There was a boomp, boomp when it hit the two trees, then just a big roar from the fire," said Joe Pariso, who lives nearby and saw the crash.
After hitting the trees, the aircraft flipped upside down. It slammed into the road, burst into flames and then slid into a patch of pine and oak trees, killing all aboard, two pilots and the eight Japanese passengers.
The fire was so intense it burned the bodies and the plane beyond recognition, investigators said.
Among those killed were KOTARO KATO, 28, and his bride HIROMI TAKAHARA, 25, said Masateru Ito, the Japanese consul in Miami. They were married Jan. 2, apparently in Miami, and went with their families to the Orlando area to celebrate, Ito said.
"My guess is that they went to Disney World, but we haven't confirmed that," Ito said.
The groom's father, SATOSHI KATO, 57; mother, NAOKO KATO, 54; and brother KENTARO KATO, 29, also were on the plane, as were the bride's father, HIROSHI TAKAHARA, 50; mother, MITSUKO TAKAHARA, 46; and brother TSUTOMO TAKAHARA, 23, Ito said.
The groom lived in Florida. The KATO family lived in Gifu Prefecture in Japan and the TAKAHARA family was from Tokyo.

Daily Record Roswell New Mexico 1994-01-07



Fort Drum, Fla. (AP) -- A twin-engine plane whose pilot radioed that he was having engine trouble crashed and burned on a rural highway, killing all 10 people aboard.
The pilot was trying to land on U.S. 441 when the twin-engine Beechcraft crashed Wednesday evening, said Brent Bahler of the National Transportation Safety Board.
The plane was owned by Kimura International of Opa-locka, which operates a flight school at Opa-locka Airport, a busy general aviation facility near Miami, said Kathleen Bergen, a Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman.
Many of the school's students are from Japan.
Hiro Hagiuda, Japanese consul in Miami, said nine victims were believed to be from Japan.
Witnesses said it sounded like one engine or both failed just before the crash.
They said the plane clipped a pine tree and burst into flame on impact.
Ten bodies were pulled from the wreckage, all of them burned beyond recognition, the sheriff's office said today.
The plane, which can seat as many as 16 people went down in a rural area near Fort Drum, about 16 miles from the Okeechobee County Airport.
Flight instructor Roger Boromei said he was in an aircraft with a student when he heard the pilot call the airport saying he wanted to land.
The airport was closed.
Boromei said he helped guide the pilot by radio toward the airstrip near the northern tip of Lake Okeechobee in south-central Florida.
"He said he saw me .. then he said that he was down to 500 feet or so and he would have to switch to an emergency frequency and he would have to declare an emergency at that point," Boromei said. "He sounded real calm."
"Another pilot heard the Beechcraft pilot broadcast a mayday," Bahler said. "Then the pilot called out first 400 feet, then 200 feet -- then the emergency locator transmitter went off."
The plane's two pilots had flown out of the Opa-locka Airport to Kissimmee, near Orlando, and picked up a party of eight, Bahler said.

Ottawa Herald Kansas 1994-01-06