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NTSB releases preliminary report into fatal Columbus plane crash

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COLUMBUS, Ind.– The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released their preliminary report on the fatal Columbus plane crash Tuesday.

The report stated the Glastar GS-1 single engine airplane was on a “downwind leg for a touch-and-go landing” when it crashed into a residence near the Columbus Municipal Airport.  NTSB officials reported the passenger, Dennis King, said the engine was running at a high rpm and the pilot, Gerald Clayton, worked “frantically on a switch for the propeller,” but the plane continued to descend.

The crash resulted in a significant fuel leak and the two pilots were able to exit before the plane was engulfed in flames, read the report.

Investigators said mechanical issues are to blame for the July 25 crash. Debris from the accident was collected and taken to a secure location for further analysis. Officials said the investigation could take anywhere from one to two months.

Both men sustained severe burns and were moved to a burn unit at Wishard Hospital. Clayton succumbed to his injuries on Aug. 2. King is listed in fair condition.

Read the preliminary report in its entirety here.