Report: Vero plane crashed while simulating left engine failure

VERO BEACH — A preliminary report filed by a National Transportation Safety Board investigator says the instructor and student pilot involved in the plane accident a week ago were practicing a simulated left engine failure when it crashed into some trees in a residential community while on approach about a mile from Vero Beach Municipal Airport.The report states the instructional flight originated about 1:20 p.m. and that no flight plan was filed with the local control tower. Paris Air, which operated the plane for Brooklyn-based Lois Aviation, told the investigator the plane had been topped with 51 gallons of fuel just before taking off. The crash occurred at an hour and ten minutes into the flight. The three-paragraph report concludes, “According to the (Federal Aviation Administration), the (instructor) and student pilot were practicing a simulated left engine failure while on approach, when the airplane collided with the trees. The airplane has been secured for further examination.”

The certified instructor, who was piloting the plane, has been identified as 28-year-old James K. Ross, who was released Monday from Lawnwood Regional Medical Center in Fort Pierce on Monday after suffering two broken wrists in the crash.The 22-year-old student pilot has been identified as Avinash Kumar, who has been released from Holmes Regional Medical Center.

NTSB investigator Butch Wilson said he has not talked to either Ross or Kumar, but expects to do so next week. He said he expects a full report to take about three months to complete.

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