You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks


Welcome to

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on

Report: Both pilots at fault in minor Lantana airport mid-air crash

Federal regulators say both sets of pilots were at fault when an airplane crashed into a helicopter above the Lantana airport in January 2015.

Nobody was hurt in the crash, and at least one pilot of the airplane told investigators he didn’t even know there had been a collision because his student pilot didn’t tell him. The new report, issued Monday, says the crash was probably caused by poor communication and pilots not knowing what was going on around the airport, which lacks a staffed control tower but is a busy training ground for pilots.

» Download our PostNOW app to get the latest Breaking News

The National Transportation Safety Board said the airplane’s pilots failed to look out for traffic they knew was in the area. Contributing to the cause, though, was the airplane pilots’ failure to announce their intention to land before landing, and the helicopter pilots’ vague radio communications.

The helicopter quickly descended to the ground after the crash. The crash smashed portions of the helicopter’s rotor blade and sliced through a section of a step on the airplane.

Pilots are supposed to announce their intentions as they come toward airports. The pilots on the airplanes did not announce they were coming in for a landing or simulating a landing without engine power. The helicopter pilots on a previous approach had announced an intention to land, but before the crash only radioed to say they were turning for a final approach.

A Federal Aviation Administration manual quoted in Monday’s report warns: “There is no substitute for alertness while in the vicinity of an airport. It is essential that pilots be alert and look for traffic and exchange traffic information when approaching or department an airport without an operating control tower.”

The Robinson R22B helicopter was being operated by Palm Beach Helicopters. The Piper Cherokee airplane was operated by Palm Beach Flight Training.

The airplane was being flown in a flight instruction test by Clifford J. Coffyn, 57, of Boynton Beach, under the instruction of William B. Lumley, 78, of Delray Beach. In the helicopter, Cameron L. Wells, 29, of Lake Worth was serving as a flight instructor to student pilot Lee S. Carter, 27, of West Palm Beach.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

Honey Boo Boo's Mama June to star in new TV show
Honey Boo Boo's Mama June to star in new TV show

“Mama June” Shannon, matriarch of the erstwhile “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” who went on to appear on “Marriage Boot Camp,” is set to hit the small screen once again. “Who is ready for us to come back?” Shannon said on Twitter. “Get ready, y’all won’t want to miss it. Love all of...
EXCLUSIVE: Workers say contractor fired them after immigration protest
EXCLUSIVE: Workers say contractor fired them after immigration protest

On Thursday, 40 employees of a Boca Raton construction company skipped work to participate in a national “Day Without Immigrants” protest. When they returned to their Miami job site Friday, workers say, four were fired — although the employer said the terminations were unrelated to the protest. The other 36 decided to sit out another...
Trumps’ Mar-A-Lago appearance Saturday went out live on Periscope
Trumps’ Mar-A-Lago appearance Saturday went out live on Periscope

President Donald Trump creates a stir no matter where he ends up -- and Saturday night was not an exception. His appearance at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s event at Mar-A-Lago, along with that of the First Lady, Melania Trump, caught the venue’s patrons off-guard. Douglas Kass, a Palm Beach author and investment banker, caught the...
Jupiter police investigating death of man found near community center

A 28-year-old man was found dead early Sunday in the parking lot of a nonprofit community center in Jupiter, town police said. Elser L. Roldan Saenz was found just before 7 a.m. in the parking lot of El Sol Neighborhood Resource Center, at Military Trail and Indiantown Road, according to a police spokesperson. Police first said the death was suspicious...
More Stories