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NTSB investigates what caused plane to crash into Lake Okeechobee, killing 5 people

Posted: 4:18 AM, Mar 11, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-11 13:14:58Z
Victims of the plane crash into the Lake Okeechobee on March 8, 2019. Eric A. Peterson (far left), Heather Bridwell, Edwin "Ted" Mortell III, Eduardo Mulet, Matthew Fiorello

PAHOKEE, Fla. — The National Transportation Safety Board continues to investigate a Friday afternoon plane crash near Pahokee that killed all five people on board.

Four local attorneys and the pilot were flying from Tampa to the North Palm Beach County Airport before going down in shallow waters just 400 yards off the shore of Lake Okeechobee.

An animated flight path shows the intended route in blue and the actual path in green.

"It actually looks like they lost their right engine at the point where the green line departs from the blue dash line,” said aviation expert Art Kamm.

Kamm is not directly involved with the investigation. However, he is an aviation expert and says he is familiar with small, twin-engine planes like the Piper Aztec the group was traveling in.

“If it was engine failure, they needed to get that airplane on the ground quickly,” said Kamm.

The NTSB is leading the investigation.

A spokesperson with the agency says they were able to recover the plane and move it to a secure facility for further review. A preliminary report should be released in the next two weeks that describes what happened moments before the crash.

On Sunday, flags outside the Peterson Bernard law firm where four of the five victims worked were being flown at half staff.