The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is ruling out in-flight structural damages as the cause for a March 29 plane crash that took place near Oxford, which left one dead and one injured. The names of the two males involved in the incident have not yet been released by authorities.
The manager of the New Albany/Union County Airport reported that airport surveillance video footage depicted the airplane departing at about 6:20 p.m. Further review of the available video indicated that the airplane did not return.
A friend of the pilot sent a text message that evening and called him four times the next day. The pilot did not respond to the message or the calls, leading the pilot’s daughter to notify authorities.
Numerous agencies working together were able to locate the crashed plane off County Road 249 due to one of the plane’s occupant’s phone pinging. Upon arrival, authorities discovered one of the occupants was deceased and the other occupant was thought to be missing. However, they found him after midnight, and he was transported to the hospital with injuries.
Tree heights in the vicinity of the accident site were estimated at 75 feet tall. Tree branches with fresh breaks were on and adjacent to the wreckage.
An initial on-scene examination did not reveal any evidence of an in-flight structural failure and flight control continuity was confirmed. Detailed airframe and engine examinations are planned following recovery of the airplane.
Friends of the pilot’s told authorities that it was unusual for him to fly that late in the evening, as he was known to take his plane out earlier in the day. They also say the passenger was the pilot’s son.