Crash Pilot Not Properly Licensed

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The pilot who died along with his four passengers in the crash of a Beech Baron on the Caribbean island of St. Croix last week apparently didn’t have the multi-engine rating or night experience that would have been minimum requirements for the flight. David Richardson was the owner of the Baron but the FAA airmen’s registry lists him as a private pilot certified with only a basic single-engine land rating. He had a first class medical, however. The Virgin Islands Consortium reported that the Baron crashed last Thursday at Henry E. Rohlsen Airport on St. Croix, but Richardson lived in the U.S. Virgin Islands and had the Baron registered there so was under FAA jurisdiction. There is no FAA presence in the U.S. Virgin Islands and aviation there is administered from the San Juan, Puerto Rico, FSDO.

The aircraft’s registration was renewed by Richardson in March of 2016 and he was the only owner. Richardson took off from St. Croix just before 9 p.m. and reported engine problems. Witnesses reported seeing flames coming from one of the engines. He tried to turn back to the airport but crashed in a field adjacent to the runway. Three of the passengers were affiliated with the band Stylee, a popular local group. Assuming the FAA records are accurate, Richardson’s lack of qualifications will cancel any insurance he held.

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