NTSB: Witness saw Louisiana plane level out before crash
New Orleans – A witness said a plane that crashed in south Louisiana had leveled out its wings before it hit trees and transmission lines and crashed in a fiery heap, according to a preliminary investigation issued Tuesday by federal investigators.
The report by the National Transportation Safety Board did not give a cause for the Dec. 28 plane crash that killed five people on their way to the Peach Bowl in Atlanta. Investigators have repeatedly said it will take about a year for that determination to be made. But the report detailed the last minute of the eight-passenger aircraft as it took off from an airfield in Lafayette and crashed about a minute later.
“According to multiple witnesses on the ground, they first heard an airplane flying overhead, at a low altitude,” the report said. “Several witnesses stated that it sounded as if both engines were at a high rpm. Multiple witnesses observed the airplane appear out of the low cloud bank in a steep, left-bank turn. One witness stated that the airplane rolled wings level just before it struck the trees and transmission lines.”
The six people aboard the eight-passenger aircraft were flying to Atlanta to watch the college football game between Louisiana State University and Oklahoma.
Federal investigators have been combing through videos submitted by people who saw the crash and the aftermath. They have also talked to witnesses who saw or heard the plane come down.