Friday, February 10, 2012

NTSB Report on Appleton Crash Includes Final Transmission

Posted By on Fri, Feb 10, 2012 at 11:46 AM

One week after a plane crash at the Boise Airport killed Steve Appleton, and one day after the Micron CEO was laid to rest, the National Traffic Safety Board released its preliminary report this morning on the accident.

The report said numerous witnesses watched the aircraft, a single-engine experimental Lancair, climb about 5 to 10 feet in the air before touching back down on the runway. Appleton taxied back toward the west end of the airport, and departed again a few minutes later, climbing to about 100 to 200 feet.

"It then made a steep bank to the left and began to roll while rapidly losing altitude," reads the NTSB report. "The airplane completed about one revolution and impacted terrain in a nose-low attitude."

The report also includes some of the radio communications between Appleton and air traffic controllers.

"We're going to here and stop. We've got a problem," said Appleton before landing the plane the first time. "I'm going to taxi back and see if I can figure it out."

Approximately seven minutes later, Appleton told a controller that he would like to depart and "stay in the traffic pattern."

At approximately 8:55 a.m., Appleton's last transmission was:

"Like to turn back in and ... um ... land ... coming back in."

According to the report, the main wreckage was located about 80 feet from the initial impact of the aircraft. The main wreckage had sustained thermal damage and consisted of the engine, inboard portion of the left wing and fuselage.

A complete, detailed report could take as long as 12 months to finish.

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