SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va. -- Federal investigators have released their preliminary report for the small plane crash that killed six people near Shannon Airport in Fredericksburg earlier this month.
The NTSB said the 1969 Beech 95-B55 twin-engine, fixed-wing aircraft was attempting to land on Aug. 12 when it collided with trees and terrain after an aborted landing at the Shannon Airport.
Eyewitnesses noticed the plane was high above the threshold and traveling fast during its descent.
"Surveillance videos obtained from the airport and a nearby business captured the airplane floating down the runway before touching down briefly and bouncing several times," the NTSB report reads. "The airplane became airborne again near the last third of the runway. As the airplane climbed, it drifted to the right of the runway centerline, and began a gradual, climbing left turn to about 50 feet above ground level. The airplane appeared to level off, then began to descend, before pitching up abruptly and rolling to the left as it descended into trees and terrain."
Initial examination of the wreckage revealed that the airplane struck the ground before bursting into flames.
"Trees surrounding the accident site exhibited gouges, cuts and paint transfers from the top of the tree canopy down towards ground level," officials wrote in the report. "The wings and engines separated during the accident sequence but remained within 20 feet of the fuselage in their approximate and respective locations relative to the fuselage. The right propeller separated from the engine and exhibited span-wise gouging and curling in an 'S' pattern. The left propeller remained attached to the engine."
State police identified the victims as 64-year-old William C. Hamerstadt of Carmel, Indiana. Hamerstadt was piloting the plane.
The passengers were the plane's owner, 73-year-old Robert D. Ross from Louisville, Kentucky, as well as 52-year-old Lisa K. Borinstein, 19-year-old Luke J. Borinstein and 15-year-old Emma R. Borinstein. The Borinsteins were from of Shelbyville, Indiana.
Additionally, 15-year-old Maren Timmermann, who was from Berlin, Germany, died in the crash.
The plane left Louisville, Ky., Friday morning before stopping in Shelbyville, Ind., and continuing to Shannon Airport, which was the plane's final destination.
Twitter user Tanya Aquino tweeted a photo of a fire in the woods outside Fredericksburg while she rode on Amtrak from Washington to Richmond.
"Oh no! I'm on Amtrak from DC to Richmond and a plane has crashed. I have no idea what type but hope people are ok!!?!" she wrote. "Plane looks small but the fire is still going. Praying for anyone involved."
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