WASHINGTON (WCSC) - The NTSB released initial findings on the Oct. 21 Jedburg plane crash that killed four men headed to a ham radio conference in the Bahamas. The reports details an experienced pilot discussing load weight with his passengers and taking practice night flights in preparation.
According to the report, the pilot Peter Radding was seen days before the accident preparing for the trip to Florida by taking several test flights at night to "ensure that he was current for night operations." Investigators found print-outs of emails between the four passengers discussing the weight and balance of the twin-engine plane. One of the emails even detailed what items would be onboard and what would be left behind in the hangar.
Witnesses that live near the airport heard and saw the plane making its runway approach. According to the report, one witness heard the plane's engine change pitch twice just before Radding taxied the runway.
Several witnesses reported hearing multiple explosions after the initial crash.
[See past coverage of the plane crash that killed four.]
Based on physical evidence in the wooded area near the runway, the NTSB report said the plane's left wing dipped and struck the first tree. The report estimated the plane was 80 feet in the air.
The Piper PA-23 descended after the first tree strike and came to rest nearly 100 feet from the initial impact. The left wing was sheared off and found with the outboard fuel tank about halfway down the crash path.
James Randolph "Randy" Hargenradar, Edwin Steeble, Peter Radding, and 67-year-old Dallas Carter of Laurel, DE, were all killed in the accident.