Pilot, instructor error likely cause of deadly November 2010 plane crash at PBIA the NTSB says

WEST PALM BEACH — National Transportation Safety Board investigators have determined that the cause of the fiery November 2010 small plane crash at Palm Beach International Airport that killed four people was likely errors made by the pilot and certified flight instructor.

According to an NTSB probable cause report released Tuesday, the Piper PA-44 Seminole bound for Melbourne from the Bahamas crashed nose-down into "taxiway Hotel" just after takeoff at about 6:05 p.m. on Nov. 11 2010 at PBIA and caught fire.

The crash killed Dheni "Jenny" Frembling, 26, of Melbourne; Jordyn Leigh Agostini, 21, of Broomall, Pa.; Kristopher Henegar, 22, of Memphis; and Kyle Henegar, 26, of Palm Bay.

All worked for or attended the Melbourne-based Florida Institute of Technology's FIT Aviation school.

NTSB investigators said the probable cause was "the failure of both the pilot and the certified flight instructor to ensure that the left fuel selector was in the on position for takeoff," and "their failure to follow the proper procedures when the left engine lost power shortly after takeoff."

The two errors resulted in a loss of control of the plane, the NTSB report says.

Pre-flight checklists call for both fuel selectors to be switched on during takeoff. Both the left fuel level, and left fuel selector valves were found in the off position.

Just after takeoff, Frembling radioed the air traffic control tower and said her engine had failed and she "needed to turn around and land," according to the NTSB report.

The report describes the pilot as a 22-year-old male and the certified flight instructor as a 26-year-old female. They both held a commercial pilot certificate. The report does not specifically name the pilot or certified flight instructor.

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