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NTSB Issues Finding On Plane Crash

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Feb 13, 2009 9:40PM


The National Transportation Safety Board has released its preliminary findings in its investigation of a January plane crash in West Virginia that killed all six people on board, all from the Chicago area. The NTSB found that a flight plan hadn't been filed and that the pilot mostly ignored requests from air traffic control. The NTSB also noted that the flight was originally consist of five passengers, not six.

As the Piper airplane approached Huntington Tri-State Airport in West Virginia, the pilot issued a "mayday" call and told the controller he was low on fuel and needed to land. The controller asked the pilot if he was capable of instrument flight, and the pilot said "ah, yes."

The NTSB reported that in the next 30 minutes, the controller attempted to help the plane in, but "at no time" did the plane acquire or maintain the latitudes or headings assigned by the controller.

The report found the pilot was "largely unresponsive to the controllers' request and instructions." When asked again if he was capable of instrument flight, the pilot replied "No."

The plane struck high-tension power lines and then hit the ground.

Four members of the American Polish Aero Club of Chicago died on board: Kazimierz Adamski (Morton Grove), Wieslaw Dobrzanski (Niles), Irenevsz Michalowski (Des Plaines), and Stanislaw Matras (Chicago). Also on board were Monika Niemiec, a reporter for a local Polish radio station, and her father, Stanley Niemiec.

AP Photo/Randy Snyder