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Report: Pilots in fatal crash knew plane had brake issues

June 11, 2020 GMT

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — A 2018 plane crash in South Carolina that left two pilots dead was partially caused by the co-pilot’s decision to fly the plane knowing it had unresolved maintenance issues, according to federal regulators.

Pilot John Christian Caswell, of Port St. Lucie, Florida, and co-pilot Stephen George Fox, of Indian Rocks, Florida, were killed when a plane they were landing went off the runaway at Greenville Downtown Airport, through a fence and down a 200-foot safety area, where the plane split apart.

The plane flew from Florida’s St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport and was carrying two passengers that survived.

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Last week, the National Transportation Safety Board concluded that Fox knew the plane’s breaking system was inoperable but still continued to fly the plane, news outlets reported Thursday.

The agency also determined that both Caswell, 49, and Fox, 66, failed to configure the plane in a way that would have allowed an an emergency brake system to stop it during landing.

The report said the airplane was in storage for several years and was undergoing maintenance to resolved over 100 discrepancies including an overhaul of the landing gear.

A preliminary report in October 2018 revealed that neither Fox or Caswell had proper certificates to fly the Dassault Falcon 50.

Caswell had second-in-command privileges to fly that jet, which means he could only fly as a co-pilot with someone who had a pilot-in-command rating. Fox held a private pilot certificate, meaning he too lacked the FAA-required certification to fly as the co-pilot on the flight.

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