Plane engine appeared to fail before fatal Lake Placid crash, says National Transportation Safety Board
(NCPR)-The plane that crashed near the Lake Placid airport on Sunday, which killed the two people on board, appeared to lose power after it took off.
That's according to the National Transportation Safety Board. A team from the NTSB is inspecting the aircraft in Lake Placid this week.
The two killed in the crash were Russ Francis, a former NFL player and owner of the Lake Placid Airways scenic flight business and Richard McSpadden, senior vice president of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.
NTSB investigator Todd Gunther said Francis and McSpadden were on a "photo mission," with another plane. The other plane had planned to take photographs of the Cessna 177 that Francis and McSpadden were flying.
Gunther said the Cessna took off after the photographer's plane and had climbed about 1,000 feet, "when the engine apparently lost power."
The Lake Placid airport does not have a control tower, where air traffic could communicate with pilots, though Gunther said Francis and McSpadden did make some kind of emergency calls while they were in the air.
"We do have reports from numerous witnesses that they said something like they had a problem and they were returning."
The plane turned back towards the runway, attempting to land on the runway, "and they ended up striking the berm that's off the end of the runway," said Gunther, "and then the aircraft fell about 30 feet into a ravine."
Gunther and other NTSB investigators have been on the scene this week collecting evidence to help determine the cause of the crash. NTSB staff in Washington DC have also been looking at weather conditions as well as the pilot's flight records and the maintenance records of the aircraft.
The NTSB will issue a preliminary report in 7-10 days. The final factual report, which will include the probable cause of the accident, will be issued in approximately 18 months.
COPYRIGHT 2023 NCPR