Pre­lim­i­nary re­port is­sued on fa­tal plane crash

Record Observer - - Front Page -

STEVENSVILLE — The Na­tional Trans­porta­tion Safety Board has is­sued a pre­lim­i­nary re­port on the April 19 crash of a small plane on Kent Is­land that killed two peo­ple.

In the post­ing on its web­site, the NTSB said the in­for­ma­tion in the re­port came from its in­ves­ti­ga­tors and “data ob­tained from var­i­ous sources.” It em­pha­sized that be­cause the in­for­ma­tion is pre­lim­i­nary, it is sub­ject to change and may con­tain er­rors that would be cor­rected in a fi­nal re­port.

Richard Hess, 63, the pi­lot, and Janet Metz, 56, a pas­sen­ger, both of El­li­cott City, died when the plane went down in a field near the in­ter­sec­tion of Route 8 and Kent Manor Drive. The lo­ca­tion was about 750 feet short of run­way 29 at Bay Bridge Air­port and “vis­ual me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal con­di­tions pre­vailed,” the NTSB said.

The pre­lim­i­nary re­port stated that the Vans RV12, reg­is­tered to Yox­ford Air, LLC, took off from Bay Bridge Air­port at ap­prox­i­mately 12:10 p.m. and flew south­east for about 25 miles be­fore re­turn­ing to the air­port 30 min­utes later. Ini­tial radar data in­di­cated the plane ap­proached the “air­port traf­fic pat­tern” from the south at about 1,000 feet, headed for run­way 29, ac­cord­ing to the NTSB.

“Af­ter turn­ing from base to fi­nal, sev­eral wit­nesses re­ported that the air­plane looked un­usu­ally low on fi­nal ap­proach,” the re­port stated. “The nose pitched up briefly but the air­plane did not ap­pear to gain any al­ti­tude. The left wing ap­peared to rise, fol­lowed by a sharp turn to the right and steep nose down at­ti­tude be­fore dis­ap­pear­ing be­hind trees.”

The plane hit the ground and cartwheeled for about 150 feet be­fore com­ing to rest up­right, the NTSB said. “A post-ac­ci­dent fire con­sumed the fuse­lage be­fore it was ex­tin­guished by fire res­cue per­son­nel about ten min­utes af­ter the ac­ci­dent,” ac­cord­ing to the re­port. No one on the ground was hurt.

The wreck­age has been re­tained by the NTSB for fur­ther ex­am­i­na­tion, the re­port said. An NTSB spokesman said in­ves­ti­ga­tions of this type can take from a year to 18 months to com­plete be­fore there is a fi­nal re­port.

PHOTO BY JACK SHAUM

Po­lice and fire­fight­ers at the scene of a plane crash on Kent Is­land early Tues­day af­ter­noon. The plane went down in a field just east of Route 8 near the in­ter­sec­tion with Kent Manor Drive.

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