NTSB preliminary report on fatal White Co. plane crash

The ultra-light plane that crashed in White County last month, killing a Cleveland man, seemed to be having engine trouble just before it went down, according to a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

The report also says the pilot pulled up just before the crash in order to avoid striking a hanger.

“Review of airport security video revealed that the airplane attempted to takeoff on the north
runway,” the report reads. “Immediately after liftoff, the airplane turned left about 90°. The engine noise
decreased, and the airplane appeared to momentarily come under control; however, it was
flying toward the front of a hangar.”

The report says the engine nose increased again, and the airplane cleared the hangar, “but as it climbed in a left turn it abruptly descended behind the hangar and impacted the ground.”

The crash killed Paul Widner, 79, described in the NTSB report as a “sport
pilot/repairman (who had) performed maintenance (on the plane), which included replacing the fabric, replacing a throttle cable, and performing an annual condition inspection.” He was not the plane’s owner, according to the report.

The crash occurred at Mountain Airpark Airport.

A final report is not likely from the NTSB for several months, perhaps a year or longer.

You can read the full preliminary report here by clicking on the Cleveland, Georgia, entry and then Prelim: data.ntsb.gov/carol-main-public/query-builder?month=2&year=2021

EARLIER STORY: Cleveland man dies in plane crash (wgtjradio.com)