Plane that crashed at TIA has history of problems - WFLA News Channel 8

Plane that crashed at TIA has history of problems

Posted: Updated:
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -
The crash of the Cessna 210 is the latest in a series of problems for this aircraft and the company it flies for.

The plane left Valdosta, Georgia at about 10:45 p.m. Thursday night.  It crashed in Tampa at 11:54 p.m.

Related content:  TPD officers pull pilot from wrecked plane

The plane is registered to Flight Express Inc. Flight Express is owned by AirNet Cargo Charter Services, which is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio.

According to the company website, AirNet Cargo has a fleet of more than 130 aircraft that fly almost 200 flights per night throughout North America.

It transports security sensitive materials, as well as organs for transplants, medical devices, and dangerous goods.

According to Tampa pilot Rob Lang, Cessna 210s are a favorite for carrying light cargo.

"It carries plenty of fuel and plenty of baggage and you can put a lot of weight on the Cessna 210," Lang said.

According to F-A-A service difficulty reports (SDRs), this particular aircraft has had mechanical issues during its 28 year life span.

Reports site a cracked cylinder head in 2006, a cracked landing gear actuator in 2003, a cracked propeller blade in 1987, a broken engine ring in 1985 that caused an engine flameout.

Thursday night as Flight Express pilot Mark Love approached Tampa International Airport, the air-net pilot radioed that his oil pressure light came on.

Lang says when that happens, the stress level in the cockpit soars.

"Oil pressure is very significant, one I would say as me as a pilot, if I was in any single engine aircraft with an oil pressure, I would immediately get to a glide distance to any runway that I could find any safe landing that I could make on a runway," Lang said.

This isn't the first crash involving AirNet Cargo aircraft.

Three crashes since 1998 left 3 people dead.

In December 2012 a Flight Express pilot was arrested at TIA when police discovered he flew his plane from North Carolina to Tampa while he was drunk.

AirNet Cargo has not responded to our requests for a comment.


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