Nashville Plane Crash, The crash of a small plane in Nashville appears to be a familiar story: A pilot not authorized to fly in foul weather meanders into a foggy soup and tries to land.
Things go wrong. The plane crashes. The pilot is killed.
But in other respects, Tuesday’s crash is anything but ordinary. The doomed Canadian pilot flies to a major airport apparently without radioing controllers. And when the plane crashes just off a main runway, erupting in fire, the crash goes undetected.
By anyone. Likely for hours.
On Wednesday, the National Transportation Safety Board painted some broad outlines to an accident picture that is begging for specific details.
NTSB investigator Jay Neylon said the NTSB is focusing on a seven-hour window in which the Cessna 172R crashed along runway 2C at Nashville International Airport.
The crash, he said, occurred sometime between 2 a.m. — when an airport worker conducted a routine runway check — and 8:45 a.m. — when a taxiing aircraft reported seeing “debris on the runway.” Rescue workers were dispatched and found the plane’s sole occupant dead amid the fire-scarred wreckage.
“At this point we have no idea the exact time (of the crash),” Neylon said.
Neylon said the safety board had not yet determined whether the pilot attempted to contact air traffic controllers.
“We will look at everything in the investigation, and that does include air traffic control,” he said.
The pilot has been positively identified, but the Davidson County Medical Examiner’s Office would not release the name Wednesday night, pending notification of next of kin. But the Ontario-based flying club which owns the plane identified him as a club member who rented the plane and planned to return it the next day.
The accident is “certainly a little unusual, to say the least,” said Bruce Landsberg, president of the AOPA Foundation and Air Safety Institute.