Report: Miscommunication led to deadly Sparks plane crash

July 18, 2018

SPARKS, Nev. (AP) — A report by federal investigators indicates that miscommunication led to a small plane crashing into a northern Nevada recreational vehicle park, killing the pilot and passenger.

The National Transportation Safety Board report found miscommunication between the pilot and the control tower before the single-engine Beechcraft A36 went down about a half-mile from a runway at Reno-Tahoe International Airport in August 2016.

The crashed killed 73-year-old John Brown and 50-year-old James Elliker.

According to the report, the pilot was unable to recover from a low-altitude encounter with wake vortices caused by nearby aircraft. Wake vortices occur from differences in air pressure above and below the wings of an aircraft.

The report also cites the pilot’s judgment, alertness and fatigue as factors of the crash.