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Thu, Sep 15, 2016

NTSB Releases Prelim In Accident That Fatally Injured 'Ice Road Truckers' Star

Cessna 182 Impacted Terrain During Landing Attempt

The NTSB has released a preliminary report from an accident at Montana's Rock Creek Airport (RC0) which fatally injured one of the stars of The History Channel's popular show "Ice Road Truckers".

Truck driver Darrell Ward, 52, was a passenger aboard a Cessna 182 being flown by 56-year-old Mark Melotz from Arlee. MT, according to television station KRTV.

According to the report, on August 28, 2016, about 1445 mountain daylight time, the Cessna 182D, N9936T, was substantially damaged following a loss of control and impact with terrain while attempting to land at the Rock Creek Airport (RC0), Clinton, Montana. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The local flight was being operated in accordance with 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, and a flight plan was not filed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which had departed about 45 minutes prior to the accident from the Missoula International Airport (MSO), Missoula, Montana, with RC0 as its destination.

According to a witness who observed the accident, who is also a certified commercial pilot, upon the airplane's arrival it overflew the airport from east to west, then turned back to the east on an extended right downwind. The witness stated that when the airplane was on final approach it was stable, with the wind being out of the west, "...right down runway 25 at about 8 knots." The witness further stated that when the airplane was about 40 feet above the runway and preparing to land, it suddenly veered 90 degrees to the right, in what he estimated to be about a 30-degree bank angle. The airplane subsequently collided with a stand of trees that bordered the runway on the north, then impacted the ground before coming to rest upright on the shoulder of an Interstate highway. Shortly thereafter, a fire erupted, which consumed the forward two-thirds of the airplane.

(Image from Darrell Ward Facebook page)

FMI: www.ntsb.gov

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