Loss of braking cited in 2019 Florida plane incident

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(AP) — Investigators say an extreme loss of braking power on a rain-soaked runway caused a cargo plane chartered by the Pentagon to slide into a Florida river two years ago.

The National Transportation Safety Board said the pilots of the Miami Air International plane landed too fast and waited too long to deploy speed-reducing panels as the Boeing 737 touched down at Jacksonville Naval Air Station on May 3, 2019.

Investigators said that even without the pilot mistakes, the plane would not have been able to stop on the ungrooved runway because of the sheer amount of standing water. They said in a report released Wednesday that Miami Air failed to give pilots adequate guidance to evaluate braking conditions on wet runways.

The jet hydroplaned off the runway and wound up in shallow water of the St. Johns River. None of the 143 passengers and crew were seriously hurt, but several pets in the cargo hold died.

The plane was carrying Defense Department personnel from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

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