Almost a year after the tragic plane crash in Nandayure de Guanacaste, the Public Ministry confirmed that the criminal investigation is about to be concluded. However, there are still no people being formally accused.
The plane crash occurred on December 31st, 2017, when a small plane from Nature Air collapsed in the vicinity of the runway of Punta Islita. In total, 12 people died (two Costa Rican pilots and 10 American passengers).
From that moment the criminal case was opened to determine possible responsibilities in the event. The crime investigated is the alleged involuntary manslaughter.
The damaged plane was a Cessna 208B Grand Caravan which had been in the country for one month and had exceeded all operational controls necessary to fly. It did not report any previous problems.
After the case, the DGAC suspended Nature Air operations between January 12th and February 1st because they failed to comply with a series of logistical and operational requirements. In May, the state entity ratified the suspension of the company.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Investigation Agency (OIJ) conducted raids and proceedings at the DGAC and airline facilities. The air report was already prepared but has not yet been read by the Technical Council of Civil Aviation (CETAC).
The authorities have three hypotheses: the influence of strong winds, a human failure, or a mechanical issue.