• NTSB releases plane crash findings, city and county waits for cause
By Linda Green

The two leaders of the municipal government of McDuffie County say that although the National Transportation Safety Board released its findings of failures that resulted in a fiery plane crash, it is not a statement of probable cause.
Thomson Mayor Kenneth Usry and McDuffie County Commission Chairman Charlie Newton say that the document released July 30 by the NTSB is a report and not a final document as to the cause of Feb. 20, 2013 crash that killed five members of the Vein Guys staff.
“This document was a statement of NTSB’s findings regarding the crash. Before making a comment, I prefer to wait for the report that gives the probable cause of the accident,” said Newton.
Usry said it is too soon to a make a statement. “The report is not complete. The NTSB will release a final statement in 30 to 60 days. I don’t think it is appropriate to comment at this time,” the mayor said.
According to the NTSB, the February crash at the airport occurred when the 390 Premier plane, operated by two pilots, aborted a landing and collided with a concrete utility pole, trees and terrain following a go around and crashed in the woods.
The report indicated that the Federal Aviation Administration did not have knowledge of the utility pole that was erected by Georgia Power in 1989 nor were depictions or mentions of obstructions on aeronautical charts. The pole supplied electricity to the Milliken Kingsley textile plant, across from the airport.
It also found that the airport failed inspections in 2012 and 2010 to meet federal requirements for precision and visual runway approaches and that trees and a powerline were obstructions on two runways.
The report also states that FAA requires notification of any construction or alteration that may impact navigation at the airport.

To read more on this story, pick up the Thursday, August 7, edition of The McDuffie Progress.





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