MT: NTSB releases preliminary report on fatal plane crash near Forsyth

NTSB releases preliminary report on fatal plane crash near Forsyth | Montana News |


The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a preliminary report on their investigation into an airplane crash on May 14 near Forsyth that killed the pilot and the single passenger.

According to NTSB, the pilot of the Piper PA-18-150 was conducting aerial management of predatory wildlife on a ranch property. The pilot was assisted by a county trapper who was on the ground near the hunting area and communicated with the pilot by cell phone.

The county trapper told NTSB that he received a final phone call from the pilot at about 7:18 am, who reported that they had eradicated two coyotes and had spotted a third. The call then ended.

The county trapper said that about that time, he heard the sound of gunshots, which he attributed to the predator management operations. The county trapper left the area and attempted to call and text the pilot multiple times without answer.

A cattle foreman saw the downed airplane as he was driving on a road past the scene of the accident and reported the crash to law enforcement.

NTSB says it was roughly 7:20 am when the Piper PA-18-150 crashed

According to examination of the crash site, the airplane had impacted with a hill “in an extremely nose-low attitude”. The airplane then came to rest in a nearly vertical position.

NTSB added that all major parts remained secured to the airplane and no visible crash marks were observed on the ground near the wreckage. The airplane sustained major damage to the engine mounts, forward fuselage, and both wings.

The plane was recovered to a secure location for further examination from NTSB. No additional details were provided by NTSB at this time.



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