Airline grounded after Costa Rica plane crash, bodies returned to USA

Costa Rica’s civil aviation agency suspended local airline Nature Air on Friday, two weeks after one of its small planes crashed near a tourist beach, killing two Costa Rican pilots and 10 U.S. citizens.


Nature Air’s pilot training director died in the crash on New Year’s Eve near the Punta Islita beach town about 140 miles (230 km) west of the capital, San Jose. The co-pilot was also killed, along with a family of five from New York.

Nature Air provided both scheduled domestic and regional flights and charters on single- and twin-engine aircraft. It had been hired to take nine tourists and their American guide from the Pacific Coast Province of Guanacaste. The group was traveling in a single-engine Cessna 208B, but shortly after takeoff on New Year’s Eve, it crashed into the side of a mountain.

Today, the Costa Rica Star reported that the bodies of all 12 victims had been released to their families, with the last of the 10 Americans repatriated to the United States at the end of last week.