Airplane Collided With The East Face Of A Storage Building In A Densely Populated Area

Location: Pembroke Park, FL Accident Number: ERA20LA297
Date & Time: 08/28/2020, 0902 EDT Registration: N900DT
Aircraft: Rockwell 500 Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation – Business

On August 28, 2020, about 0902 eastern daylight time, an Aero Commander Aircraft 500-S, N900DT, was destroyed when it impacted a building near Pembroke Park, Florida. The commercial pilot and pilot-rated passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 business flight.

According to preliminary Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ADS-B and audio information, after takeoff from Pompano Beach Airpark about 0852, the flight proceeded in a southeast direction to the shore, then flew in a south-southwest direction just offshore. About 0858, when the flight was about 13 nautical miles northeast from Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport (OPF), which was the destination, an occupant onboard the airplane contacted the OPF air traffic control tower (ATCT) and advised the controller that the flight was inbound. The flight was radar identified and continued in a south-southwest direction while climbing to 1,100 ft mean sea level (msl). At about 0859:49, or 1 minute 49 seconds after the initial contact with the OPF ATCT, an occupant advised the controller, “and uh november delta tango ah we have uh an engine problem, we [are going] to North Perry [Airport].” The OPF ATCT initially coordinated with Miami Approach and advised the facility that the flight was descending, with last reported altitude of 300 ft. The controller then attempted to coordinate with North Perry ATCT.

About 0859:53, the airplane turned to a southwest direction, climbed to about 1250 ft msl. About that time a witness who was located about 2.8 nautical miles east-southeast of the flightpath when the airplane was flying in the southwest direction reported hearing the engines accelerating and decelerating which changed to a popping sound. The airplane continued flying and went out of his earshot.

The ADS-B data reflected that about 0900:47, the airplane turned and flew in a westnorthwesterly direction until about 0901:58, when the flight proceeded in a north-northwest direction until near the accident site. Witnesses who were on a golf course north of the accident site reported seeing the airplane flying in a westerly direction with no reported engine sound.

They then noted the airplane banked left and then descended. The airplane collided with the east face of a storage building in a densely populated area, then fell to the parking lot of the building. There were no reported ground injuries.

Preliminary examination of the accident site revealed an impact mark on the building which reflected the airplane being in a right bank. Examination of the wreckage revealed no evidence of pre or postimpact fire. The wreckage was recovered and retained for further examination.