Pilot reportedly says passenger’s midflight panick attack led to deadly Nazca Lines plane crash

The pilot and sole survivor in the airplane crash that killed five French tourists this week near the famed Nazca Lines reportedly says that the accident was caused by a deadly chain of events that started when one of his passengers suffered a panick attack midflight.

From his hospital bed in the coastal city of Ica, Bartra Basurto, 33, told his boss, Aero Ica owner Franklin Horler that the female passenger started to tug on his seat harness, so he aborted the flyover above the lines tried to return to the Nazca Airport.

During the flight back, the Aero Ica Cessna 206 grazed an illegally constructed two-story building and got tangled in some high tension wires leading to the structure, Horler was reported saying in daily newspaper Trome.

“There are people who are not accustomed to flying in small planes and on takeoff during the afternoon there are strong winds and dips,” Horler said.

The plane slammed into the brick wall Wednesday adjacent to kilometer 456 of the Southern Pan-American Highway, killing French tourists Yollande Paimparay, 62, her husband Robert, 66, Christine Maze, 63, Marie-France Lethuillier, 59, and Anne-Marie Soudant de Pelchin, 61.

“It was all caused by a mistake, not a mechanical failure. Unfortunately, last week they put up those high tension cables, the ones that impacted with the aircraft, and it ended up hitting a building,” Horler reportedly said. “They are clandestine structures, not licensed.”

No official cause for the crash has been released.

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