NTSB Releases Report On The Plane Crash That Killed Family Of Seven In Demopolis, Alabama
- More than 16 months after a family of seven was killed in a plane crash of C421, the NTSB has released a factual report of the event.
The pilot, age 42, with ratings for airplane single-engine land, multiengine land, and instrument airplane was flying his family home from a reunion in St. Louis when he reported trouble with the right engine.
Weather conditions were clear and there were no reported maintenance problems with the plane. He had an estimated 1,000 hours of flying time, including seven single-engine practice landings in the plane that crashed.
The plane, a Cessna 421, took off in the late afternoon and had been flying for two hours when the pilot declared an emergency because of a rough-running engine. Air traffic controllers in Atlanta directed him to an airport 10 miles away in Demopolis, AL. He located the airport and circled it while descending to 17,000 feet, the report said.
After his initial report of engine trouble, he told controllers he had shut down the right engine. He reported that the airport was in sight and was cleared for a visual approach and was last observed on the radar at an altitude of 700 feet, about three miles from the approach end of the runway.
His last communication with the tower was a request to change radio frequency to the local traffic advisory frequency, the report said. That was about nine minutes after he first called for help.
Six hours later, plane wreckage was spotted in a densely wooded area less than a mile from the end of the airport’s runway. Rescue crews found the plane upside down. The plane’s landing gear was down and flaps were extended.
Photo: Family killed in the crash