Preliminary report blames engine trouble for deadly plane crash
HAMMOND - A preliminary investigation blames a loss of engine power during takeoff for a deadly crash at the airport in Tangipahoa Parish recently.
John Harris, of Denham Springs, was a passenger on the plane and died. The pilot of the Cessna 421B was from Lafayette.
A more thorough report will take longer, but investigators said the early findings indicate the right engine may have gone out, causing the plane to eventually fall from the sky on the afternoon of October 14. Despite an attempt by the pilot to turn the plane around and land, it crashed about 1,600 feet from the runway.
"Witnesses heard a 'loud pop' followed by slowing of the airplane's right engine and right propeller," investigators wrote in the report. The witness said the plane made a right turn toward the runway before crashing.
Frantic radio communications between the pilot and the tower at the Hammond airport convey just how immediate the situation was on the plane. Within seconds of asking to land and exclaiming "mayday," the audio cuts out.
The plane crashed straight down, the NTSB report indicates, and burst into flames.
Investigators will continue to determine what happened. But, wrote the cockpit was so badly damaged by the impact and fire controls will not be able to be analyzed. Both engines and propellers were taken by investigators.
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