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Fight Instructor And Student Pilot Killed Just After Takeoff At McAllen Airport

August 18, 2015 - On Friday a Zenair CH 2000 airplane, N26ZA, had departed from McAllen Miller International Airport (MFE), McAllen, Texas with a student pilot and a flight instructor, just after takeoff the aircraft reportedly stalled and then crashed killing both pilots. 

The Zenair CH 2000 airplane crashed about 6:50 PM just after departure about 0.2 miles south of the departure end of runway 13 at McAllen Miller International Airport. The aircraft caught fire along with the brush surrounding the accident site. 

Weather condition at the airport was VFR conditions. With wind from the east at 19 knots, gusting to 25 knots. The visibility at the time was about 8 miles with scattered clouds at 8,500 feet. 


McAllen Police Chief Victor Rodriguez said, “We have some witnesses that we’ve identified in the area that actually saw the aircraft. They report the aircraft stalling and tilting over south of the airport and ultimately crashing.” Both pilots have been identified as James Castagna, 32, and Hector Garza Cantu, 42, McAllen Police Chief Victor Rodriguez while at the scene. 

Zenair CH 2000 airplane is a two seat trainer aircraft. It is a well built aircraft and it is great on gas. In 1995, the Zenair CH2000 was introduced into the aviation market by the Canadian kit aircraft producer. The U.S. version is manufactured in the USA by AMD Inc. and is sold as the ALARUS. In 2011, ALARUS stopped manufacturing this aicraft however, Zenair continues to provide parts support.



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