Two Years Since Deadly Small Plane Crash That Killed Six
The NTSB issued its report last week on the March 26, 2005,
small plane crash that killed six on approach to University Park
Airport in State College, PA.
Those who perished in the accident had flown from Florida for a
Penn State University lacrosse game.
Although the NTSB has not identified the cause of the crash, the
report confirmed the single-engine
Pilatus PC-12 (sample image) left Naples, FL, just before 10
am, that the last radio contact with the pilot was at 1: 45 pm, and
that the plane dropped off radar at 1: 48 pm. The crash occurred
just before 2 pm, when it impacted the ground near Bellefonte,
When the PC-12 crashed, its landing gear was down and the flaps
up and the de-icing equipment on, the report states. Visual
meteorological conditions prevailed at the accident site; however,
instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the altitude
where the accident sequence began.
One witness reported seeing the airplane over some pine trees.
"Its right wing was up and then it went nose down to the ground
after doing a counter-clockwise spin."
Additional witnesses reported seeing the airplane "with its left
wing down and right wing up, doing a spin toward the ground," and
"nose down doing approximately three to four slow revolutions to
The airplane impacted the ground nearby in a nose-down, slightly
left bank attitude, and the tail of the airplane "ripped off,"
according to a third witness.
The 51-year old pilot held a private pilot certificate, with
airplane single engine land, airplane multi-engine land, and
instrument airplane ratings. He had disengaged the autopilot,
according to the NTSB report.
An autopsy did not detect any evidence of drugs or carbon
monoxide poisoning, while an evaluation by the engine manufacturer,
Pratt and Whitney Canada, found no anomalies in the plane.