Preliminary report released on plane crash involving E. Texans - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Preliminary report released on plane crash involving E. Texans

Posted: Updated:
ANGEL FIRE, NM (KSLA) -

The National Transportation Safety Board has released its preliminary findings into the plane crash that killed four family members with ties to East Texas last week.

33-year-old pilot John Verhalen III of Scottsville, Texas, his girlfriend 26-year-old Jennifer Woodward, his sister 41-year-old Sarah Verhalen and her 13-year-old daughter Chloe Jameson were all on board the Mooney M20E when it crashed shortly after takeoff on Sunday, March 3.

The NTSB's preliminary report confirms early reports that the pilot was warned against taking off in windy conditions.

"When the pilot arrived at the fixed base operator (FBO), an employee from the FBO questioned the pilot's intent to fly in the windy weather. The pilot indicated that he planned to fly and that the winds would not be a problem."

According to the report, the pilot was given the current wind and altimeter readings as he was taxiing to the runway and repeated them back in acknowledgment.

The report then details what employee saw happen next: Due to snow piles on the airfield, the FBO employee could not see the takeoff and next saw the airplane airborne with a significant crab angle into the wind, about 40 degrees right of the runway heading. The airplane rose and fell repeatedly as its wings rocked. Then employee saw the airplane's right wing rise rapidly. The airplane rolled left, and descended inverted with the airplane's nose pointed straight down."

The plane was registered to Verhalen Flyers LLC in Scottsville, Texas, and was headed for Dallas-Fort Worth following a family ski trip.

Copyright 2013 KSLA. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow