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NTSB Looks Into Crash Of St. Croix Plane On Puerto Rico

Dec. 5, 2008 — After investigating the site Friday where a St. Croix plane crashed in Puerto Rico, the National Transportation Safety Board released preliminary information about their investigation into the crash.
A day after search teams reached the crash site, the NTSB assumed responsibility for looking into the accident in the El Yunque National Forest, according to a statement. (See "Searchers Locate Wreckage of St. Croix Airplane in Puerto Rico.").
Lead investigator Todd Gunther said the site was at 2,310 feet above sea level, and that evidence indicated a 350 degree heading at impact — roughly north-northwest.
The plane's passengers were Kent W. Clapp and Tracy Turner, of Avon Lake, Ohio, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Clapp and Lake were traveling with a pet dog.
The pilot and owner of the plane, Ken Webster, was well known in the Virgin Islands aviation community, according to members of the community.
The investigating team, which had been at the site since 7:30 a.m., had found all portions of the airplane, including both engines, in a 20 by 50 foot area against a cliff face. The wreckage is highly fragmented, Gunther said, but noted there was no evidence of engine malfunction.
The board had not completed its investigation, Gunther said.
Gunther also noted there was no black box or other recording device on the airplane, although the investigation will review recordings by the FAA.
"The area is very inaccessible," Gunther said, complicating removal of the wreckage.
The NTSB will interview witnesses Saturday who heard a loud noise at the time of the crash, Gunther said. A preliminary report will be issued in seven to 10 days, with a factual report in nine months.
The Aero Commander 690B's passengers were traveling from Beef Island in the British Virgin Islands to meet a Continental flight in San Juan, according to Gunther.
Gunther noted other aviation accidents in the past in El Yunque, one in 1969 and one about six years ago.
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Dec. 5, 2008 -- After investigating the site Friday where a St. Croix plane crashed in Puerto Rico, the National Transportation Safety Board released preliminary information about their investigation into the crash.
A day after search teams reached the crash site, the NTSB assumed responsibility for looking into the accident in the El Yunque National Forest, according to a statement. (See "Searchers Locate Wreckage of St. Croix Airplane in Puerto Rico.").
Lead investigator Todd Gunther said the site was at 2,310 feet above sea level, and that evidence indicated a 350 degree heading at impact -- roughly north-northwest.
The plane's passengers were Kent W. Clapp and Tracy Turner, of Avon Lake, Ohio, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Clapp and Lake were traveling with a pet dog.
The pilot and owner of the plane, Ken Webster, was well known in the Virgin Islands aviation community, according to members of the community.
The investigating team, which had been at the site since 7:30 a.m., had found all portions of the airplane, including both engines, in a 20 by 50 foot area against a cliff face. The wreckage is highly fragmented, Gunther said, but noted there was no evidence of engine malfunction.
The board had not completed its investigation, Gunther said.
Gunther also noted there was no black box or other recording device on the airplane, although the investigation will review recordings by the FAA.
"The area is very inaccessible," Gunther said, complicating removal of the wreckage.
The NTSB will interview witnesses Saturday who heard a loud noise at the time of the crash, Gunther said. A preliminary report will be issued in seven to 10 days, with a factual report in nine months.
The Aero Commander 690B's passengers were traveling from Beef Island in the British Virgin Islands to meet a Continental flight in San Juan, according to Gunther.
Gunther noted other aviation accidents in the past in El Yunque, one in 1969 and one about six years ago.
Back Talk


Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.