Nature Air Grand Caravan
Grand Caravan TI-BEI, one of several operated by Costa Rican private airline and charter provider Nature Air, crashed soon after takeoff on New Year's Eve, claiming the lives of all 12 on board. Weather is being considered as a possible factor in the accident. (Photo: Denis Gonzalez Diaz)

Costa Rican Caravan Crash Claims 12

A crash of a Cessna Grand Caravan in Costa Rica on December 31 claimed the lives of all 12 on board, including 10 American passengers. The Costa Rican-registered turboprop single, operating as a charter flight by private airline Nature Air, was headed for the company’s main base at San José-Juan Santamaria International Airport when it went down around noon in a wooded area near the town of Punta Islita, just after takeoff from the local airport.

According to reports, there were strong winds at the time, and the aircraft initially had to wait at a nearby airport before it was able to land at Punta Islita to pick up its passengers. The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has dispatched two investigators to assist with the crash investigation.

In September, the company suffered a fatal accident involving a Cessna 206 that claimed the lives of two passengers. The aircraft plunged into a river soon after takeoff from Pavas Airport.