CENTERVILLE — A plane that crashed last month in Centerville, killing two people, nosedived into the ground before bursting into flames, according to a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board.
The preliminary report, released on Monday, says a witness who was about 3 miles northwest of the crash site told officials he saw the plane flying at a normal altitude, west to east, on the north side of his home. This man also told officials he heard the aircraft making a “backfiring” sound that did not sound normal. Only later did the man learn the plane had crashed.
A second witness told officials he saw the plane flying north no more than 100 feet above the ground while he was driving south on an interstate. Soon afterward, he saw the plane take a hard banking turn to the right before nosediving into the ground and bursting into flames, officials wrote.
The plane crashed on its right wing before coming to a rest upright on a fence about 30 yards north of the crash site. The engine of the plane became detached from the aircraft sometime during the crash sequence, an on-site Federal Aviation Administration inspector reported.
The cabin and cockpit of the airplane had been consumed by fire, the report added.
Officials noted that this preliminary report is subject to change. Any potential errors will be corrected in the final report.