On May 3, 2019, Miami Air Flight 293, a Boeing 737 that took off from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, attempted to land at Naval Air Station Jacksonville. The jet overshot the runway and eventually settled in a shallow part of the St. Johns River.
There were seven crew members and 136 passengers on board the plane at the time of the crash. Of that, 21 people received minor injuries and three pets were trapped inside the plane's cargo hold.
On Wednesday, the National Transportation Safety Board released its full report on the crash. The report cites weather as a big factor but cited other factors as well.
In the moments before the flight was set to land at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, the flight suddenly changed its path due to the inclement weather, according to the NTBS report. However, the change led the flight through the center of the storm cell.
At the time of the crash, there was heavy rain, thunderstorms and wind at about 8 knots, or around 9 mph. Wind gusts reached as high as 16 knots, or about 18 mph, according to the report. These factors also caused low visibility of about three miles.
Captain Gabriel Cosentino, 55, was at the controls and had worked for Miami Air since March 2008, the report says. He had 7,500 hours of flying time prior to the crash. In an interview with investigators, he said he had flown into NAS Jax between five to ten times.
Cosentino also told investigators, "There was no concern about the weather, as the flight route took them west of it," the report says.
He added he, "...did not remember the weather report received from the approach control," and called the landing, "pretty smooth," according to the report.
Cosentino has not been involved in any other accidents or incidents with Miami Air and was never disciplined for his prior job performance, according to the report.
First Officer Claudio Marcelo Jose La Franca, 47, and was fairly new to the company. He was hired in October 2018 and began training in January 2019, according to the report. He also had about 7,500 hours of flight experience prior to the crash.
In his interview, he told investigators, "...that there were thunderstorms developing," and he, "...recalled last seeing the airspeed at 100 knots and they were getting close to the end of the runway and not slowing," the report says.
It was his first flight to NAS Jax.
The report also reveals one of the two evacuation door slides failed to inflate as did one 46-person life raft. There were four life rafts on board.
The investigation finds the life raft's inflation hoses were not connected and states a review of the maintenance procedures where the parts were last tested is needed for a risk assessment.
Serving his first term in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman August Pfluger represents 29 counties in Texas’ 11th congressional district, including the cities of San Angelo, Llano, Brownwood, Granbury, Midland, Odessa, and much of the Permian Basin—the top-oil and gas producing region in the Nation.
A seventh-generation Texan, Congressman Pfluger grew up in San Angelo and graduated from San Angelo Central High School. He followed in his grandfather’s footsteps and answered his Nation’s call to serve—graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy and defending this country in uniform for nearly two decades as a decorated fighter pilot commanding hundreds of airmen as well as serving in the Pentagon and NATO. Pfluger also served as an advisor to President Trump on the National Security Council and is a Colonel in the Air Force Reserves.
In Congress, Representative Pfluger is a strong advocate for national security, promoting our farmers and ranchers, protecting the unborn, energy prosperity, and securing our borders. He is a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Committee on Homeland Security, where he serves as the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism. He is also a co-leader of the Texas Ag Task Force and a member of the Republican Whip Team.
Congressman Pfluger is a conservative Republican, a proud husband and father, and a devoted follower of Jesus Christ. He and his wife Camille live in San Angelo with their three young daughters, Vivian, Caroline, and Juliana.
On May 18th I was at the peak of health. Prior to my instructional period at the United Airlines Flight Training Center, I went to the company exercise room and pumped out my usual 30 reps of bench press with my bodyweight, then taught ground school and simulator for 8 hours. Like usual, I wore a mask full-time, although the mask requirement had been lifted for several months.
In my opinion, the Training Center is a great petri dish to spread Covid and other illnesses, since almost all trainees have traveled by plane within the previous week, and could easily be asymptomatic carriers. Listen to The Covid Flight From Hell for more information on the potential for airline travel exposure.
On May 20th I was feeling very tired, and felt like a bad cold was coming on. I was up all night coughing, and at 0230 sent an email to the United Scheduling Department advising them that I would not be able to come to work for my 0700 instructional period. On May 21, I took a Covid test and the results were positive. I immediately quarantined from the rest of my family and contacted my family doctor, who prescribed a 5-day course of Paxlovid. At the end of the five days, I was feeling much better, and tried to resume a normal schedule.
I over-did it! My immune resistance was greatly weakened, and the Covid virus that was circulating in my body caused a resurgence of the illness, much stronger this time. And this time I could not take any medication, since Paxlovid is not approved for break-through Covid cases.
I have finally tested negative, and am really physically weak. I've learned my lesson, and will not overdo any work until I am fully recovered.