NTSB: Visibility Issues Might Have Contributed to Plane Crash in Raleigh, North Carolina
RALEIGH, NC. – Visibility issues could have contributed to a fatal plane crash that happened in late October in Raleigh, North Carolina, according to CBS17.com. A preliminary report completed by National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) indicates that the pilot of the plane previously stated he was having trouble seeing the runway where he was supposed to land.*
The accident happened during a flight from Columbus, Georgia, to Raleigh, North Carolina. A Piper PA-32-301 piloted by a 72-year-old man departed shortly after 4 p.m. and was approaching Raleigh around 7 p.m. The man’s wife, age 72, was the only passenger on the plane. According to the preliminary report, as the plane was approaching the airport, the pilot requested to land on runway 5R. Air traffic control responded that he should land on runway 32.
At the time, the sky was overcast, and the lowest ceiling was 1,400 feet. The pilot told air traffic control that he was having issues with his GPS and his autopilot. The controller then gave the pilot information for an approach to runway 32. The two communicated about altitude and the approach, and it is reported that the controller said the aircraft was fine at 1,400 feet.
About five miles away from the airport, the pilot indicated that he could not see the runway, and the controller turned up the runway lights. About three miles away, while the plane was at 1,000 feet, the pilot reportedly stated he could see the runway. The controller then lost contact with the plane. The following morning, the plane was found in a wooded area, having initially crashed into a 100-foot-tall pine tree. The pilot and his wife were tragically killed in the crash.
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