PLAINVILLE, Mass. (WPRI) — The National Transportation Safety Board will return to the site of a deadly plane crash in Plainville on Tuesday.
- Photos: Plainville plane crash
Dr. Rick Kalister of Athens, Tennessee, along with his wife Betty and their college-aged daughter Nicole were killed when the plane they were in crashed into a home, just minutes over the Rhode Island border.
The single-engine plane was on its way from Lancaster, Pennsylvania to Norwood, Massachusetts when the pilot reported engine trouble and loss of control.
“Yeah, we’ve got problems with the engine, where’s the nearest airport?” the pilot says, according to audio of the exchange posted on the website LiveATC.net. (Listen to exchange)
The reported loss of engines is potentially a clue into what caused the crash that killed all three passengers. However, all four people inside the Bridle Path home were able to make it out safely.
“The engine is one of the areas that we’re going to need to look at or look into in this investigation much like any others, but, yes those transmissions to and from air traffic control can help,” Doug Brazy of the NTSB explained.
The NTSB will be at the crash site for the coming days to find the probable cause. They’re also working to prevent this type of accident from happening again.
According to officials, a preliminary report should be available in about two weeks, with the full report taking up to at least a year.
In addition to the engine, investigators are also analyzing the entire scene as well as collecting eyewitness statements from area residents like Mary O’Rourke. She was on her back porch when she heard the crash.
“But it was like turning. I think it was trying to turn or something and then it turned right into it,” O’Rourke said.
The six-seat aircraft was traveling from Lancaster, Pennsylvania to Norwood, Massachusetts. FAA records show the plane was manufactured in 1990.
“Anybody who can try to picture themselves behind the controls of any aircraft with low ceilings, coming out of the clouds, couple hundred feet left. How difficult that might be to find a place to land,” Justin Alexander, Plainville’s fire chief said.
Air traffic controllers suggested landing on I-495 or North Central State Airport in Rhode Island, but it was too late.