Prinair plane crash in the 1970's
Good day all!
I was vacationing with my family in Puerto Rico and we took a Prinair (15 seater/air taxi) from there to St. Thomas to do some site seeing and shopping for the day. As we were hurrying back to the airport to catch the next plane, which I believe was around 4 or 5 pm, I observed a small plane (thought it was also a Prinair) take off, gain altitude and then took a hard nose dive into the Beachcomber Hotel, which is in pretty close proximity to the airport. I was only 9 or 10 at the time, so this left a big scare about flying for me. I can remember my dad, covering my eyes and we all headed to the other end of the runway and got on the next plane and took of f for PR. He knew that if he let me stare at what had just happened, he would not have been able to get me on another plane again! The next day, I saw a newspaper in the hotel lobby that said, all the people on the flight and a few folks in the Beachcomber hotel were killed . I am sorry to bring up such a sad and tragic event, but my reason is, that I have been "goggle-ing" for any information on this and cannot find a thing. I know that this is going back pretty far, but If anyone was on St. T back then or can pass along information for me to read up on this, I would be very grateful. It has taken me along time to sort through those memories I saw as a young child. thanks!
I think this is probably the crash you're looking for:
I found it searching the NTSB website here:
Not much info about it, but some. I searched a few other databases and none of them list Prinair ever having a crash in St. Thomas, only 2 in PR.
Blaze, thank-you so much for finding something concrete to read about it. Laurie
I remember an airplane crash into the Beachcomber Hotel. It was NOT a PRINAIR airplane... it was a Beechcraft D-18, and the pilot was a fellow called "El Gato" Costa.
Hope this helps...
My name is Alina Costa de Varona, the daughter of the pilot, Alfredo Costa, who also perished in that accident which occurred on April 21, 1971. I was 10 years old at the time.
I came across this site doing some genealogical research so I'll be happy to share whatever information I've come across during my search. I've already given you the date of the accident and the aircraft was a twin-engine Beechcraft.
Among the other victims, the were Mr. & Mrs. Maurice Trepanier of Salem, NH and Mr. & Mrs. Donald Sedlack of Tom's River, NJ.
If you'd like to correspond, please private message (PM) me and I will give you my email address.
Please pardon me for contacting you out of the blue.
My name is Alina Costa de Varona. Alfredo (aka El Gato Costa) was my father. I saw your post of June 10, 2012 and thought you might have know him. Did you?
There is one piece of information I am looking for and that is the city/town in Spain where he was born. He and his parents went to Cuba in the 30s during the Spanish Civil War and became Cuban citizens. My mother doesn't recall his city/town of birth.
Would you be able to help?
alideva, it looks as though LaurieJ (the original poster) is no longer a contributor to this board.
Oh what a shame. Do you or anyone else know anything else about this accident?
I'm john Kempf, 1 was at the Sedlak wedding, grew up with both Don and Karen. My daughter was born 4,21,71. The day of the crash. Our First child name is Donna, partially because he was my best friend. We had just finished their house so they could move in after the Honeymoon. I'm in the BI working for Fema and just thought I d look this date up and found this thread. Such a sad time.