FATAL AIRCRAFT CRASH - March 25th

At approximately 11:42 hours this date, Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport Tower telephoned Fort Lauderdale Fire-Rescue Station No. 53 located at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport and reported a plane down somewhere in the vicinity, west of the airport and south of Commercial Boulevard.

Crash Truck No. 53 immediately headed to the area and informed fire-rescue dispatch (BCFR) of the reported plane down. The officer of Crash Truck No. 53 then requested a full alarm assignment respond to the area. Fort Lauderdale Engine Co. 88 stationed just north of the airport, was in territory and arrived at the crash site along with Crash Truck No. 53 at 11:46 hours.

Fort Lauderdale Fire-Rescue Crash Truck No. 53 located the plane in a canal in the 3700 block of Northwest 31 Avenue, City of Lauderdale Lakes.

The plane was approximately 300 yards west of Northwest 31 Avenue, upside down on the south side of the canal. The white with blue trim 1959 Grumman (G-21A) Goose Seaplane was engulfed in flames. The crew of Crash Truck No. 53 used bolt cutters to cut a lock and gain entry via a fenced gate. They proceeded through a field and over a dirt berm to reach the crash site. This unit was first to reach the burning plane. Upon arrival, they utilized a roof turret and applied 375 gpm of AFFF (foam) to the burning plane. A woman had been rescued prior to the arrival of Crash Truck No. 53. The pilot of the aircraft is reported to have perished after being trapped in the wreckage upside down and underwater. Heavy fire was involving the underside of the plane. The landing gear was reported to be in the down position.

Once the fire had been knocked down by the turret of Crash Truck No. 53, a hose line was stretched to protect the scene. Firefighters from the Cities of Lauderdale lakes and Oakland Park assisted in the operation and with patient care of the rescued occupant. The rescued woman is reported to be a FAA Examiner. A significant fuel spill involving AvGas covered the canal and required continued foam applications from Crash Truck No.
> 53. The plane was reportedly headed back to Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport when it went down.

Crash Truck No. 53 is a 1993 Oshkosh T-1500 Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting Vehicle (ARFF). It carries 1500 gallons of water, 200 gallons of AFFF foam, and special dry chemical extinguishing powders. This truck is specifically designed for off-the-road operations for which it performed as designed at this incident.

Report By: Stephen R. McInerny II,
Division Chief
Fort Lauderdale Fire-Rescue Department