Whiteout conditions prevailed when Boyne plane crash killed 2 Birmingham men, report says

The Detroit News

Whiteout conditions were occurring when a plane departing from Boyne City crashed and killed two Birmingham businessmen in January, according to an NTSB report released Friday.

Pilot Todd Lloyd, 51, and his partner, Christopher Neumann, 38, died when the plane they were in crashed one mile from the Boyne City Municipal Airport. They were returning to Oakland/Troy Airport in Troy, a trip they had already delayed a day, according to the report.

“The blowing snow occasionally created white-out conditions” at the time of the accident, a witness told investigators. “Several witnesses reported that it was snowing heavily at the time of the accident.”

The NTSB findings come in the form of a factual report, which attempts to provide a synopsis of the events surrounding a crash but does not identify a probably cause.

Reports from the nearest weather stations indicated light snow and visibilities of 1.25 miles to 4 miles at the time of the crash, which was placed at 7:06 a.m. on Jan. 6. The two had been skiing in the area, according to published reports.

Lloyd was an instrument rated pilot, which means he would have been trained to fly in low visibilities.

He was president and CEO of Chair Covers and Linens, a Madison Heights-based company, and Top That! Event, a Livonia-based bridal services company.

Neumann was a public relations professional with Weber Shandwick.

The Mooney single-engine plane with retractable landing gear was owned by one of Lloyd’s companies.

The wreckage did not show any signs of mechanical difficulties, the NTSB said.