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NTSB Releases Report of Fatal Plane Crash Near Willard

WILLARD, Mo. -- The National Transportation Safety Board has issued a briefing of the plane crash that claimed five lives near Willard.
WILLARD, Mo. -- The National Transportation Safety Board has issued a briefing of the plane crash that claimed five lives near Willard on September 15, 2012. 

The report was released Thursday, December 5th. In it the National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause of the accident was: "The pilot's loss of airplane control as a result of spatial disorientation experienced in night instrument meterological conditions."


The investigation described the crash as follows,
"The airplane drifted through the localizer about 0.25 mile before crossing the localizer again and drifting about 0.25 mile to the
opposite side of the localizer. The airplane flightpath then paralleled the localizer briefly. The track data indicated that the airplane
entered a left turn, which resulted in about a 90-degree course change.

About that time, the pilot requested radar vectors to execute a
second approach. The airplane entered a second left turn that continued until the final radar data point, which was located about 420 feet
from the accident site.

During the second left turn, about 9 seconds before the final radar data point, the pilot transmitted, 'I need some
help.'"

The investigation found that during the accident the airplane descended rapidly, at an average rate of 6,000 feet per minute during the last 10 seconds. After this time there was no further communication with the pilot.

The airplane came to rest in an area of lightly wooded pasture about 6 miles from the destination airport. An examination of the airframe and engine did not reveal any malfunctions that would have caused the airplane to crash.

The NTSB report is based on the information from the radar data, the pilots request for assistance, and an examination of the airplane. "It is most likely the pilot became spatially disoriented in night meteorological conditions and subsequently lost control of the airplane"
the report finds.


PREVIOUS COVERAGE

GREENE COUNTY, Mo. -- The National Transportation Safety Board releases more details in last weekend's fatal plane crash, but not a cause.

Click here to read the preliminary report 

In a preliminary report, the NTSB says pilot John Lambert, 44, contacted the Springfield-Branson National Airport at12:02 a.m. Sunday, September 15. He'd left Lee's Summit Municipal Airport at 11:40 p.m. Saturday.

Then at 12:17 a.m., Lambert was cleared for landing to runway 14. About three minutes later, the pilot requested flight information in a second attempt to land.

The NTSB says 30 seconds later, radar contact was lost and the controller's attempts to contact the flight were not successful. The plane crashed about six miles northwest of Springfield in a lightly wooded pasture field.

Debris was scattered about 110 feet east of the impact crater, which included the propeller, engine, instrument panel, and portions of the fuselage.

The victims included Lambert and his children, Grayson, McKinley, and Joshua and family friend Robin Melton.

Investigators are now reviewing pictures of the crash site and examining GPS information along with the dimensions of the debris field. They'll also rely on information from meteorologists, engineers and human performance experts.

A final report is not expected for several months.

See Also:
NTSB: Plane Crash Debris Moved to Recovery Location
Mothers Remember Lambert Children Killed in Plane Crash; Memorial Saturday
Classmates Color Coordinate in Honor of Lambert Siblings
Investigation into Cause of Fatal Plane Crash Continues
Crash Victim Robin Melton Remembered for Community Leadership
Update: Five People Killed in Small Plane Crash Near Willard

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