NTSB report: Plane failed 2 takeoff attempts before crash
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Witnesses told federal investigators the airplane that crash near Willow Lake failed two takeoff attempts before becoming airborne.
The National Transportation Safety Board released a preliminary report Tuesday on the July 18 crash north of Anchorage that killed the 24-year-old pilot and injured two passengers, KTUU-TV reported .
Colt Richter was flying for Regal Air to FBI Lake in the Skwentna area, carrying a woman, her 2-year-old son and cargo. The float-equipped DHC-2 Beaver lost control during the climb after takeoff and crashed into trees, according to the report. The cause of the crash has not yet been determined.
Witnesses at Willow Lake told investigators that the aircraft “appeared heavy” during the takeoff attempts. Three witnesses recorded videos of the takeoff because it was “perceived as an unusual operation,” the report noted. The plane headed south, descended below the tree line and witnesses heard the impact.
The aircraft was engulfed in flames and Richter was pronounced dead at the scene.
While the fire destroyed the cargo, the passenger told investigators the plane contained bags of masonry mortar, three bags of food and stores, two propane tanks, and miscellaneous supplies.
Investigators plan to recreate the cargo and its configuration on the plane to determine the aircraft’s center of gravity, NTSB investigator Noreen Price said. It is not yet known if the weight of the aircraft contributed to the crash.
“I have no evidence to suggest that the plane was overloaded,” Price said.
Information from: KTUU-TV, http://www.ktuu.com