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NTSB Approves Report in Fatal Crash
Monday, 10 January 2011

January 10--  The National Transportation Safety Board has approved a final report on the airplane crash that killed David and Ann Lovins of Vidalia nearly 18 months ago.  The two died when their private plane crashed in a wooded area near the end of a runway at the Jackson County Airport in Sylva, North Carolina on August 26, 2009.

According to the NTSB, David Lovins failed to maintain adequate air speed during the landing which cause the plane to stall and crash.  The agency's summary report is provided below.

"Following the 3-hour-and-40-minute, instrument-flight-rules, cross-country flight, the pilot approached the destination airport. The airplane descended from 9,400 feet mean sea level (msl) to 3,100 feet msl and entered the traffic pattern on a right downwind leg for runway 33. The pilot flew a low approach over the runway and then entered a left traffic pattern about 350 feet above the airport elevation. The pilot again approached the runway and slowed the airplane from 91 knots to 60 knots, and a witness observed the airplane touch down on the runway before it proceeded out of his view. The airplane impacted a wooded area beyond the departure end of the runway inverted and in a nose-down attitude. The airplane's recorded groundspeed for the final portion of the flight never exceeded 63 knots, and the calculated stall speed was 61 knots calibrated airspeed. The winds reported at an airport 12 nautical miles southwest were a left quartering tailwind at 3 knots. Postaccident examination of the wreckage revealed no evidence of any preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures.

"The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:

"The pilot's failure to maintain an adequate airspeed during an aborted landing, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall."
 
A full report on the crash is available at www.ntsb.gov.

 

 
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