The National Transportation Safety Board has released its final report into a 2018 plane crash off the northeast coast of Florida that left a father and son dead.
In December 2018, a Piper airline crashed into the ocean off Huguenot Park, killing the pilot, Peter Renzulli, 51, of Bridgewater, and his 18-year-old son, Daniel.
The wreckage and their bodies were not found until February 2019.
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The NTSB’s final report was released on April 21. Investigators determined that Renzulli flew for 20 minutes in heavy precipitation above freezing level, and the ice buildup caused the aircraft to stall. The right wing separated and plunged into the ocean.
“Although the pilot did not have access to specific icing forecasts, which likely underestimated the potential for icing conditions, the pilot had enough information to indicate possible icing at the selected cruise altitude. “, said the NTSB in the report.
The plane was flying near the top of a cumulus cloud formation at about 23,000 feet, and the conditions “exceeded the capability of the aircraft’s ice protection system,” the report said. The icing “resulted in an uncontrolled descent and subsequent in-flight breakup,” the report said. The NTSB also cited “the pilot’s inability to maintain airspeed appropriate for flight in icing conditions.”
Tragically, Renzulli and his son knew they were in trouble. The crash happened at 9:04 a.m. At 9:03 a.m., one of the occupants said to the tower, “We are not well. We need help.” The pilot told the tower, “I don’t know what’s going on, I’ve got anti-icing, everything.” Seconds later, an occupant told the tower that the aircraft was flying upside down, then radar contact was lost.
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