Plane crash report released
A recent report from the National Transportation Safety Board confirms the initial assessment on why a plane crashed nearly two years ago in a north High Point neighborhood, killing the pilot and one passenger.
The pilot became disoriented in foggy conditions as she tried to make an emergency landing at Piedmont Triad International Airport the evening of March 30, 2011.
Pilot Marcia Salmons-Keaton was taking Dr. Thomas Littlejohn III from Wilmington to Smith-Reynolds airport in Winston-Salem, where Littlejohn lived. But in poor weather conditions, the pilot attempted to land at PTIA. Instead, the small plane, a Beechcraft BE58, crashed into a house in the Frazier Downs subdivision in northernmost High Point, a neighborhood off Sandy Ridge Road not far from the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market.
“About 45 minutes into the flight, as the airplane neared the destination airport, the pilot advised air traffic control that she would need to enter a holding pattern and wait for the weather conditions at the destination airport to improve,” according to the NTSB report.
However, after conversations with a flight controller by radio, the pilot decided to try an emergency landing at PTIA.
“The flight continued its descent below the glideslope until reaching a point about 3 (nautical miles) from the runway and 400 feet above the ground, at which time the pilot initiated a missed approach,” according to the NTSB report.
The plane wreckage was 2 miles from the runway at PTIA, with the debris path about 600 feet in length, according to the report.
The report indicates no evidence that fatigue contributed to the crash. However, it wasn’t clear from an examination of the remains of the pilot’s body if medications the 50-year-old woman was taking could have contributed to any disorientation on her part, according to the NTSB.
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