One person rescued, one missing after cargo plane crashes near North Miami, US
At least one person has been rescued and one person is missing after a plane crashed in North Miami on Friday, 8 February 2019. US Coast Guard members, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue and other rescue officials responded to rescue calls for a downed Conquest Air 504, Convair aircraft, which landed 20 miles southeast of Opa-Locka Executive Airport around 12h15 on Friday. The Coast Guard helicopter lowered a rescue blanket and hoisted a man into the helicopter. The FAA confirmed that two people were on board, but only one person was rescued. The plane was headed from Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau, Bahamas, to Opa Locka Executive Airport when it crashed.
Conquest Air released the following statement following the plane crash:
At approximately 12h38 today, we were made aware that one of our cargo aircraft had declared an emergency and attempted a water landing 19 miles South East of Opa Locka Airport, which was its intended arrival point. The aircraft was returning from a cargo delivery from Nassau, Bahamas. Our concern is with our flight crew and we will continue to coordinate with the relevant authorities.
Conquest Air is a cargo company that provides daily cargo service between the Bahamas and Miami daily, according to its website.
The FAA released the following statement following the plane crash:
Conquest Air 504, a Convair aircraft, landed in the water about 20 miles southeast of Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport (OPF) at about 12h15. The US Coast Guard responded to the scene for search and rescue. Preliminary indication is that two people were on board. The aircraft departed from Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau, Bahamas and was headed to OPF.
After rescuing one crew member on Friday, the US Coast Guard suspended its search on Saturday afternoon for the captain of the downed cargo airplane. Captain Robert Hopkins, aged 68, was identified as the missing crew member on Saturday evening by Conquest Air Cargo, the Miami Lakes-based company that owns the airplane. The Coast Guard searched for about 21 hours in an area of 364 square nautical miles before calling the search off.
“Our thoughts remain with the family of Captain Robert Hopkins at this difficult time,” Conquest Air Cargo said in a statement. “This is a tremendous loss for our company; Captain Hopkins’ selfless leadership was and will always remain an example for us all.”
The Coast Guard rescued one crew member from the wreckage off the coast of the Bay Harbor Islands on Friday afternoon. Dramatic helicopter rescue, captured on local TV footage, showed rescuers hoisting crew member Rolland Silva, 28, out of the water.
Source: Miami Herald