PAYSON -- The National Transportation Safety Board Tuesday issued a preliminary report on a fatal plane crash in Payson involving an airplane from Utah Valley University.
The accident on Nov. 17 killed flight instructor Jamie Bennee and aviation student David Whitney. The plane went down in the driveway of a home just after 1 p.m. near Wilson Elementary School.
The cause of the crash remains unclear. It does not appear that Bennee or Whitney were able to transmit a "Mayday" call on their radio before the crash.
The report quotes witnesses as hearing and seeing the plane descend vertically in a spiral or spin, making numerous rotations before impact. It also adds that witnesses heard sounds consistent with engine operation.
There does not appear to be any radar data to aid in the investigation because the plane was below the radar coverage area. No distress call was received by air traffic control or on the UVU base frequency at the Provo airport.
The report also states that weather at the time was clear and is not believed to have been a factor.
The plane and engine are undergoing inspection to determine if a mechanical problem was involved. A final report on the accident is not expected for several months.