NTSB releases preliminary findings of August plane crash in Cynthiana

CYNTHIANA, Ky. (WTVQ) — The National Transportation Safety Board has released preliminary findings from an early August plane crash in Cynthiana that killed a woman and seriously injured a man.

According to the report, on Wednesday, Aug. 3 around 5:25 p.m., the pilot and his passenger left the airport for a brief, personal flight in a Piper J-3 Cub. About 10 minutes later, witnesses reported seeing an “intense” storm coming in from the north. The storm reportedly had heavy rain and an increase in wind speed. Around this same time, another witness reported the plane returned to the Cynthiana-Harrison County Airport and flew “an unusually low airport traffic pattern.” Suddenly, it descended in a left spin before crashing next to the runway.

Upon examination of the plane, the following was found:

“Examination of the airplane revealed that the fuselage was buckled, and the left wing was severely crushed and broken aft. The magnetos switch was on BOTH and the fuel selector was in the ON position. The empennage was bucked and bent to the left. The entire engine assembly was bent upwards and canted to the right with the left side of the engine covered in dirt. Both wood propeller blades were splintered although they remained attached to the center hub and crankshaft flange; one blade was shattered down to the spinner with the opposing blade shattered outboard of the erosion strip. There were several dozen propeller fragments in a 50 ft radius of the main wreckage. There were red navigation light lens fragments on the runway edge followed by a primary impact crater that contained propeller fragments and small pieces of wreckage. The cockpit occupiable space was severely compromised in the forward seat area and no shoulder harnesses were observed. The fuel tank remained intact and contained about 5 gallons of aviation fuel. Flight control continuity was confirmed on all control surfaces through their respective control cables and into the cockpit. The engine crankshaft was rotated 720° with no binding noted. Valvetrain continuity was confirmed, there was thumb compression and suction in each of the cylinders, and both magnetos created spark at each of the posts.”

This information is subject to change when the final report is complete.

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