Sebastian Majewski and Wojciech Korjat were killed in Key West, Florida when their airplane crashed on Thursday. The airplane crash occurred shortly after the men took off in a small private version of the Cessna 172, a four-seat civil utility aircraft. The Florida Highway Patrol started investigating to identify the reason for the deadly crash, but has since handed off the investigation to the National Transportation Safety Board.
The NTSB’s final report on this airplane crash is extremely important because it will tell injury attorneys whether or not a case can be made for either man. When it comes to airplane crashes, the cause of the accident is typically pilot error a maintenance problem. In other cases, a component part malfunctions or fails, causing the aircraft to go down.
Getting to the root cause of the crash is essential in order to determine if a case can be made for compensation.
According to Deputy Becky Herrin of the National Transportation Safety Board, boaters in the Key Haven in the Gulf of Mexico informed authorities of the crash at around 1 p.m. on Friday, a day after the accident. A search turned up one body approximately 1.5 miles away from the crash site and another 1.5 miles away from Stock Island, just of the tip of Florida.
The Monroe County Sheriff’s office says that Wojciech Korjat, 31, and Sebastian Majewski, 32, were both Polish tourists who were visited the area. They had reportedly rented to plane, which had tail number N53589, from Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport in Miami. The airport states on its’ website that it is one of the busiest Florida general aviation airports, with private, government, and training specialties. It is not clear if the airport or a private company had conducted safety inspections of the vehicle prior to the accident, or if a malfunction or other defect could have played a part in the accident.
Reports indicate that no one was sure where the two men were headed at the time of the airplane accident. The Polish consulate has stepped in to notify family members of the pair of the accident. It is not currently known if family members are considering filing suits.
A few plane crashes have occurred in the Florida Keys recently. In one plane accident that made headlines a few months ago, Rick Hendrick, the owner of NASCAR team Hendrick Motorsports, and his wife were passengers in a Gulfstream 150 aircraft at Key West International Airport in October when the plane skidded off the runway due to an apparent brake failure. There were only four people on the small plane: the couple, a pilot and a co-pilot.
The latter duo reportedly radioed in to the airport saying that the brakes were not working before the crash. There was reportedly ‘no pressure’ when the pilot attempted to hit the brakes, according to the press. The plane reportedly narrowly missed hitting a fence, which was lucky, as Key West International Airport had recently completed renovations that included more space around the runway.
Luckily, none of the four were seriously injured, though Rick and Linda Hendrick sustained some bruises and cuts. All four were treated at Lower Keys Medical Center and released soon after. The reason for the brake malfunction was never reported, and it is unclear if the Hendricks filed charges with the manufacturer of the plane.
The accident was particularly harrowing because 8 years prior, a plane belonging to Rick Hendricks had crashed in heavy fog, killing all 10 onboard, including his son.