Tragic: Family Crashed Upon Take Off, Did Not Get Discovered Until 21hrs Later


A family of four from Georgia died in a small plane crash at a small airport in Florida on Easter. Williston Police Chief, Dennis Strow, identified them as Nathan J. Enders, 37, Laura A. Enders, 42, Jaden Enders, 7, and Eli Enders, 5.

The plane was a 1948 model Cessna 170 “tail dragger” registered to Nathan Enders, who was an air traffic controller based in Peachtree City, according to a Gainesville Sun .

The vintage private plane photo (Left) Ender's Family Pictures (Right)
The vintage private plane photo (Left) Ender’s Family Pictures (Right)

The vintage private plane crashed on Saturday afternoon at the Williston Municipal Airport; killing all four people aboard. Twenty pilots who flew out of the same airport later that day did not notice the incident. It was only reported to emergency responders 21 hours later.

According to Clay Connolly, Williston’s deputy chief of police, the plane had refueled in Georgia before arriving at the Williston airport Saturday at 2:48 p.m. He also said that the plane attempted to take off at 3:10 p.m. and crashed about 150 feet before the tree line at the north end of the taxiway.

The weather at the time was fair, with winds steady at 8 mph, gusting to 14 mph, from the east, according to a nearby weather station.

Connolly said that, “While it is possible that pilots looking toward the landing strip might not have seen the bright, crumpled wreckage, the Cessna was equipped with an emergency locator transmitter that continued to send a radio signal that should have been noticed by pilots within 2 or 3 miles, even if its antenna was snapped off.”

“Everything went wrong at once,” he said. “This is really a huge complacency issue,” he added.

On arrival, Fire-Rescue and EMS crews found the crash site near the tree line at the eastern portion of the airport property. When they checked the wreckage, they determined that all four passengers on board the aircraft were all dead.

The National Transportation Safety Board is still investigating the cause of the fatal crash.


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