911 Call Fails, Suggests Broader Failings


In Florida, two 911 calls from the witness of a plane crash near the Venice airport somehow failed to initiate a search, and the wreck was not found by rescue/recovery crews till 19 hours later. Cindy Toepfer first called 911 immediately after the crash and “was first referred to an 800 number for the Domestic Air Interdiction Coordination Center in Riverside, Calif.,” according to the Herald Tribune. When her call to California for the crash she witnessed in Florida failed, Toepfer called 911 again, motivating the dispatcher to call Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport; no inquiries were made in the Venice area. FAA spokesman Chris White told the Tribune, “Local jurisdictions make up their own requirements” on notifying the FAA. Two pilots died in the Cessna 150.