National News

Final moments of deadly plane crash revealed in preliminary report

Posted September 19

— Matt Briscoe

The Hill Country Tribune

Stonewall, Texas--A preliminary report that was released by the NTSB on Monday sheds some light into what may have caused a plane crash that killed a Hill Country man and a juvenile female passenger back on September 10, 2017.

The experimental Rans S-6, crashed in a field about 1 mile east of the town of Stonewall, Texas, west of Austin just over a week ago.

One witness reported to the NTSB that he had seen the plane near his home about 4:40 pm flying with it's wings "nearly perpendicular to the ground." The plane then "snapped" to a level flight attitude and the climbed a short distance before descending in what the witness called a "short rollercoaster manner."

The witness told investigators that he saw the plane descend below the tree line and appeared to be landing back at it's point of origin at Buck Lake Aero, a private landing strip where the plane was hankered.

The report details how the plane then climbed again running along Gillespie County Road 1623, then turning west near Lee Roy Bahrends Lane and Nevins Road.

From there, the witness told NTSB investigators that he saw the plane go into a steep climb followed by a steep descent. The plane then pulled up briefly leveling off before pivoting at a very steep nose down angle. The report states that the witness said the plane went down nearly vertically before seeing a plume of dust rising above the trees.

In the report, a female witness said that she thought the plane was doing stunts before seeing the plane free fall, nose first.

Investigators report that the main wreckage was found 38 feet from the initial impact point.

Further examination of the wreckage revealed that the left and right fuel tanks had about 1 quart of fuel remaining in each one and that the fuel selectors were in the "on" position.

A final report will take several months to complete. The engine was shipped to an NTSB facility for further examination.


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