Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Weather ruled out as cause of Angel Flight crash that killed pilot, two passengers

TAMPA — An investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board has ruled out weather as a factor in the crash of a private plane Thursday at Vandenberg Airport that killed three people.

In a news conference Saturday, Corky Smith, senior air safety investigator for the NTSB, said the stormy weather Thursday did not play a role in the crash. He also corrected one detail of an account of what occurred.

A witness who saw the crash while driving south on Interstate 75 told investigators the plane rotated, went airborne, lifted its landing gear and drifted to the left. Then, it hit a 49-foot antenna on the airport grounds. The plane cartwheeled, hit the ground and burst into flames.

Smith said evidence indicates it was the plane's propeller, not the wing, that hit the antenna. The investigation is focusing now on the plane and the pilot, he said.

The NTSB expected to clear the wreckage from the site and wrap up its work at the airport on Saturday, he said.

Smith, who is based at the NTSB's southern region headquarters in Atlanta, said the full investigation could take up to a year, but he hopes to complete it in six months.

Thursday afternoon, the single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza flown by Harlan "Lanny" Northcott, 81, of Sun City Center, crashed and burned at Vandenberg Airport. The crash killed Northcott and his two passengers, Tyler McLellan, 15, and Patricia Snyder, 49, both of Stuart.

Northcott was flying from Tampa to Stuart, bringing Snyder back from cancer treatment. Tyler was accompanying Snyder, one of his mom's friends.

Northcott was a volunteer with Angel Flight, a program in which pilots donate their time, planes and fuel to carry ambulatory patients to treatment.

Weather ruled out as cause of Angel Flight crash that killed pilot, two passengers 07/19/08 [Last modified: Saturday, July 19, 2008 9:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Forecast: Dry, muggy conditions for Tampa Bay before severe storms, possible tornadoes arrive ahead of cold front

    Weather

    Tampa Bay residents can expected a muggy, dry day Tuesday ahead of a cold front and a string of severe storms slated to arrive late Wednesday.

    Tampa Bay's 7 day forecast. [WTSP]
  2. Islamic State group claims responsibility for Manchester blast after Ariana Grande concert

    Public Safety

    MANCHESTER, England — The Islamic State group says one of its members planted bombs in the middle of crowds in Manchester, England, where 22 people died in an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in the city.

    Emergency services work at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig in Manchester, England Monday, May 22, 2017. Several people have died following reports of an explosion Monday night at an Ariana Grande concert in northern England, police said. A representative said the singer was not injured.  [Peter Byrne | PA via AP]
  3. Five recipe ideas for cooking with sparkling wine

    Cooking

    With high school and college graduation season upon us, you might find yourself stocking up on sparkling wine (if you don't normally). Though the obvious choice is to drink it all, you may find yourself with leftovers after all the parties are over. These five recipe ideas will use up that grad-friendly bubbly so …

    Sparkling Wine Risotto takes risotto up a notch.
  4. Florida education news: Budgets, principals, vouchers and more

    Blogs

    VETO TIME? Gov. Rick Scott weighs advice on whether to reject the Legislature's education budget. • Pasco County school officials