Ocean Ridge: Fuel shortage, pilot error cited in crash report

A twin-engine Cessna plane that hit the new Ocean Ridge Town Hall in July 2008 crashed because of a partial loss of engine power due to fuel starvation,
according to a National Transportation Safety Board report in June.

Contributing to the crash, the NTSB report said, was the pilot’s decision to add only a limited amount of fuel before the flight. The pilot said he bought 10 gallons
of fuel for each of two main tanks and had planned to fly 22 miles from Palm
Beach County Park Airport to Pompano Beach Airpark.

According to the report, the pilot said that five minutes after takeoff, the plane lost engine power, started to rapidly lose altitude, struck Ocean Ridge Town Hall
and hit the ground. The new Town Hall was still under construction at the time.
The pilot, Laurent Gillot of Boca Raton, survived the crash.

— Margie Plunkett

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