Plane that killed 4-year-old boy was having engine trouble before takeoff, witnesses say

Austen Erblat, South Florida Sun Sentinel
·2 min read

A plane seemed to be having engine problems but took off anyway on the day it crashed, killing a 4-year-old boy riding inside an SUV as well as the two men aboard the aircraft, according to a federal report released Tuesday.

A witness at North Perry Airport, where the plane departed from in Pembroke Pines, heard the engine sputter and backfire on March 15, according to a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board. Another witness, a certified pilot, saw the plane climb slowly after takeoff, then watched the plane stall in mid-air, spin and begin to rapidly descend, with its nose aimed at the ground, the report said.

“The witness had diverted his attention when he heard the airplane suddenly experience a total loss of engine power, adding that it ‘failed completely,’” the report said.

The NTSB report focused on witness’ accounts of the engine problems, but the agency hasn’t yet specified a cause for the crash.

Yaacov Nahom and Grant Hustad were the only people inside the plane. Both died in the crash. Officials have not yet said who was piloting. Nahom owned the plane; a Beech B36TC. Nahom may have been trying to sell the plane to Hustad, an airplane broker, given that a listing for the plane advertised it for sale for $299,000.

The plane slammed into an SUV, driven by Megan Bishop. In the backseat of the SUV was her 4-year-old son, Taylor Bishop. Megan Bishop was seriously injured in the crash and tried to help her son before being pulled away by a witness. Her son died at the airport later that day.

The plane was only in the air for a few minutes before it crashed.

Austen Erblat can be reached at, 954-599-8709 or on Twitter @AustenErblat.