Father, daughter killed by plane on Florida beach: NTSB report shows pilot never saw family

VENICE, Fla. - Newly released documents on the plane crash that killed a father and daughter vacationing on a Venice beach show what was going through the pilot's mind moments before tragedy struck.

The National Transportation Safety Board released its preliminary report on the crash that happened on July 27 at Caspersen Beach near Siesta Key.

The documents show that pilot Karl Kokomoor never saw the Irizarry family on the beach when he brought down the broken single engine piper.

He told investigators he saw other groups of people but thought the spot where he landed was empty.

Kokomoor considered landing in the water, but told the NTSB that he feared his plane would flip, so he chose landing on the beach instead.

The plane came down on Army Sgt. Ommy Irizarry and his 9-year-old daughter, Oceana. Both died from their injuries.

The family was on vacation from Georgia, celebrating Ommy and his wife's 9th wedding anniversary.

"I send my hearfelt apologies to the Irizarry family for my role in this tragic accident and I will keep Rebecca Irizarry and her fmaily in my prayers for as long as I live," Pastor Vic Willis said in a statement prepared by Kokomoor.

The preliminary report says the plane hadn't been flown in more than three and a half months.

The pilot didn't notice trouble until about 15 minutes into the flight when the engine suddenly quit. Witnesses on the ground say it was totally silent.

They had no warning on the beach.

"It's just an absolute tragedy," said Richard Francis, a private pilot from the area. "I hope people are not quick to place blame on the pilot because he had limited control, yeah he had some control but it was limited."

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