NTSB Releases Preliminary Report on Plane Crash | News, Sports, Jobs

Two witnesses reported seeing a bank Cessna 177B left moments before the April 7 crash in Cattaraugus County which killed a passenger and seriously injured the pilot.

The National Transportation Safety Board released its preliminary report on the crash at the Great Valley airport north of Salamanca on Monday. An airport-based pilot described the weather conditions as “An absolutely perfect day to fly.”

William H. Mandelare, 80, and Raymond E. Groetsch, 72, had traveled to the airport from Brockport where the couple lived earlier in the day for lunch with another pilot and were leaving when the crash occurred. is produced.

According to the preliminary report, a witness said the plane – owned by the pilot – bounced several times on take-off, then climbed about 20 feet above the ground before leaning to the left and crashing into the ground.

Another witness told investigators he saw the plane in a 90-degree bank just before the crash. “He told a colleague he was concerned about the plane, so he got in his truck and drove to the airport,” the report says. “When he arrived, he saw that the plane had crashed and had been engulfed in flames.

Mandelare died of the accident while Groetsch suffered serious injuries.

A woman who lives next to the runway has a full view of the runway and witnessed the crash. She reported to investigators that after taking off and turning left, the left wing of the plane struck the ground where it “crumbled” and then the plane “collapsed,” the report says.

“She said she watches planes take off and land all the time, and by the time they come to her, they’re usually already in flight. She said she had not seen or heard anything abnormal with the aircraft or the engine before the accident, except that it had taken off “low” and “late”. While the witness was on the phone with 911, she observed black smoke coming from the wreckage.

The NTSB said the scars on the ground at the crash site and the damage to the aircraft matched the Cessna’s impact terrain in a left wing low nose down attitude. The aircraft came to rest approximately 2,250 feet below and approximately 50 feet to the left of the approach end of the runway.

All the major components of the aircraft were at the crash site.

“Examination of the airframe and engine revealed no signs of mechanical malfunctions or pre-accident anomalies that would have prevented normal operation,” the NTSB said in its report.

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