One person died after cargo airplane Convair C-131B Samaritan fell into the sea on 21 km off the city of Opa-Locka, Florida. The aircraft with two people on board took off from Nassau, Bahamas and headed to Opa-Locka Airport, Florida, but shortly before reaching the airport of destination started losing altitude and the pilot declared an emergency and attempted a water landing. The cargo airplane Convair C-131B Samaritan fell into the sea on 21 km off the shore. The US Coast Guard immediately started search and rescue operation and found one of the crew members of the Bay Harbor Islands. Unfortunately, the pilot, Captain Robert Hopkins, 68, is still missing and reported dead.
The Coast Guard conducted maritime and aerial searches for the missing pilot for approximately 21 hours and in an area of 364 square nautical miles. After nothing was found the SAR operation was suspended.
“Our thoughts remain with the family of Captain Robert Hopkins at this difficult time”, says the statement of Conquest Air Cargo. “This is a tremendous loss for our company; Captain Hopkins’ selfless leadership was and will always remain an example for us all”, adds the carrier.
The Convair C-131 Samaritan was an American twin-engined military transport produced from 1954 to 1956 by Convair. It was the military version of the Convair CV-240 family of airliners.