Pilot error, overload blamed for Michigan plane crash that killed 5 people

Federal investigators blame pilot error and an overloaded plane in a 2019 plane crash near Michigan Airport that killed five Indiana men and seriously injured a sixth person on board.

National Transportation Safety Board His final crash report on 3 October 2019 stated that the pilot was unable to maintain airspeed during his final approach to Capital Region International Airport near Lansing.

A report released on Wednesday said the single-engine Socata TBM 700 slowed to 74 knots during the crash, below the manufacturer’s claimed approach speed of 85 knots.

Investigators also said the aircraft weighed over 200 pounds (91 kg) and its cargo was too far in the rear of the aircraft, making it difficult to control.

“Altitude and airspeed trends in the final moments of flight were consistent with the aircraft entering a low-altitude aerodynamic stall,” the NTSB report said.

Pilot Joel Stewart Bivins, 48, and Timothy Joe Clark, 67, both from Franklin, Indiana; John Thomas Lowe, 51, from Greenwood, Indiana; Neil Alan Sego, 46, from Trafalgar, Indiana; and Zachariah Eugene Bennett, 27, of Plainfield, Indiana.

A sixth passenger, 42-year-old Aaron Levy Blackford of Frankton, Indiana, survived the crash but was seriously injured.

The plane took off from Indy South Greenwood Airport near Indianapolis. It crashed in an open grass field about 0.3 miles (0.48 km) from Lansing Airport.

Four of the six passengers were scheduled to work as contractors for the Delta Energy Park Lansing Board of Water & Light, a natural gas-fired power plant that began operations in March, according to the Lansing State Journal.

Copyright 2022 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

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