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Costa Rica Shuts Down Airline In Crash That Killed 2 Jewish Families

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 Americans — including members of two Jewish famiies.

Ennio Cubillo, director of the civil aviation agency, informed Nature Air in a letter that it “preventatively” suspended all operations because several key employees were no longer with the company.

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

Nature Air’s operations manager quit this week and its aerial security director has requested a leave of absence.

“Nature Air doesn’t have, at the moment, a reliable and effective management structure to guarantee the execution of safe air operations,” said the letter from Cubillo, who has said the investigation could take months.

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