Five people are dead and two were injured when a small airplane crashed in Mexico on Thursday en route to the Gulf coast state of Veracruz.
The plane took off from the port of Tampico in Tamaulipas, known officially as the Free and Sovereign State of Tamaulipas, and came down in a mountainous area near the coast.
The office of the Veracruz state civil defense says that the cause of the crash is still under investigation, though weather does not appear to have played a role in the accident.
Navy officials joined local police and other first responders for recovery and rescue efforts. The two survivors were flown via helicopter to a hospital in Xalapa, the state capital, said emergency services director Ricardo Maza Limon. One of the survivors is in critical condition while the other remains stable.
Though the number of airplane accidents per year has steadily decreased since 1989, 97 percent of aviation fatalities occur in general aviation, not commercial flights, according to National Transportation Safety Board chief Deborah Hersman.
"The NTSB is so concerned with general aviation safety that we have placed this on our 'most wanted' list of transportation safety improvements," Hersman said.
Truth be told, small airplanes average five accidents per day. But most of these are preventable.
Rich Stowell, a pilot and instructor for 25 years, says private pilots don't get the training they need to recover from emergencies.
"We have to replace survival instinct with the brain telling the body, 'no you have to do this and do that,'" he said.
Last Spring the NTSB released safety videos to help better educate the pilots that control the 220,000 private airplanes in America today. The videos include such topics as: Is Your Aircraft Talking to You? Listen!, Avoid Aerodynamic Stalls at Low Altitude, and Mechanics: Manage Risks to Ensure Safety.
Some news sources are reporting that only four people died in the Mexico plane crash last week. That has yet to be confirmed, as do the identities of those killed.
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