NTSB conclude what caused deadly Winter Haven plane crash

Polk County

The National Transportation Safety Board has released a new report detailing what caused a plane to crash on February 23rd.

Pilot James Wagner died after the plane crashed into a home in Winter Haven.

According to the report, Wagner could not get the plane to restart after simulating engine failure.

NTSB officials said Wagner was instructing trainee pilot, Timothy Sheehey.

Reportedly, Wagner told Sheehey that he’d simulate engine failure at some point during takeoff or climbout.

Wagner took off from Winter Haven Regional Airport around 12:30 p.m. 

Shortly after, Wagner reduced the throttle of the UC-1 Twin Seabee, on the left engine and it stopped producing power causing the propellor to feather.

During descent, restart procedures were unsuccessful, according to officials.

NTSB said Wagner selected a forced landing site, but when he turned to descend, the plane slowed, the left wing dropped and hit the home on Idylridge Dr.

Sheehey, suffered minor injuries.

Wagner died at the scene.

Wagner’s son-in-law said he was a good man.

He just had the kindest heart, and he was patient, and he was loving, and he was not judgemental, and he would help anybody. Anyone who needed help or an ear to listen, he was there, said Luis Nunez.

A 17-year-old female was trapped inside.

Neighbors helped rescue her.

Half of her body is through the wall and the other half was in her room. We promise, we not going to leave you, but I told her I said listen, if anything happens, if the plane catch on fire, I’m sorry, I’m gonna have to pull you out. Cause I’d rather pull you out and you be injured than you know, you catch on fire, said Moses Saint Hillaire.

Officials said no evidence of pre-impact mechanical malfunction was noted during the examination of the recovered parts.

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