NTSB releases preliminary report for North Collins fatal plane crash

NORTH COLLINS, N.Y. (WIVB) — The National Transportation Safety Board is releasing its preliminary report following a fatal crash between two small airplanes.  The September 25th crash killed three people – Richard and Kathleen Walker, 69, and Paul Rosiek, 60.

“Accidents like this are so rare,” said Bob Miller, an aviation analyst who is spending Tuesday morning reviewing the report.

Miller says about 10 mid-air crashes happen around the United State each year. He says, what makes this one more unique, is that the two pilots left from the same airport, Hamburg Airport, and were flying together, in formation, to the same destination, St. Mary’s, PA.

“They’re presumably talking to each other on the radio,” said Miller.  “They know the other aircraft is in immediate vicinity.”

The NTSB report paints a picture of what the final moments leading up to the fatal crash were like.  Investigators, going off of witness statements, report the Piper, the plane the Walkers were flying in – made contact with the Cessna, Rosiek’s plane.

“Interestingly enough, the Piper can see what’s ahead and what’s above it,” said Miller, adding all planes do have blind spots, similar to a cars, where it includes underneath and behind.  “There was damage to the Piper’s left wing which indicates that was damaged by the impact and then propeller marks on the Cessna’s right cowl.”

NTSB officials collected pieces from three sites, including one with the Piper’s wing and Cessna’s tail.

“The entire control of the airplane – most of it is from the tail feather,” explains Miller.  “The elevator, the rudder, those are two control components. If they’re damaged or inoperative, the airplane simply cannot be controlled.”

The report doesn’t indicate if medical issues or weather might have played any role in the crash. The NTSB is still looking at radar data hoping to come up with the probable reason these planes collided.

“It’s not exact science and we may never know.”

The NTSB is expected to release the final report in six to 12 months.


WIVB.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s