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NTSB: Plane Crash that Killed Two North Carolina Men Caused by Fuel Runout

May 13, 2019

HENDERSON, KY. – According to an online news report posted at, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has concluded that a plane crash that occurred in Henderson County, Kentucky, was caused by a fuel runout. The crash occurred in April and killed two men from North Carolina.*

The crash took place on April 23 at the Henderson City-County Airport. The plane was a Bellanca 17-30A, and two men were on board. The pilot, a 48-year-old man from Sanford, North Carolina, was reportedly a flight student. The passenger was a 47-year-old man from Sanford. 

The pilot had reportedly received his student pilot certificate in February and had logged 24 total hours of flight time. He did not have enough hours to be a pilot and did not have clearance for solo flights without an instructor. He also did not have clearance to fly a complex airplane like the Bellanca. 

It appears he had already flown the plane earlier in the day with a flight instructor. The owner told authorities the student pilot had said he was interested in buying the plane. It is not clear why he returned and flew the plane again without an instructor, but Kentucky authorities believed he did not have permission from the plane’s owner for the second flight. 

NTSB launched an investigation into the crash and released its report on May 3. NTSB said the plane’s motor stalled because of a lack of fuel, and the plane dove to the ground. Investigators found only 2 ounces of fuel in one tank and about three gallons in another. The plane was reportedly equipped for 34 gallons with 30 useable gallons. 

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Category: Accident News

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