The National Transportation Safety Board continues to investigate a plane crash that killed six, including the pilot, near Tuscaloosa Regional Airport in Alabama on Aug 14.
“The NTSB is in charge of the investigation and will release
all information about the accident,” Kathleen Bergen, public affairs contact
for the Federal Aviation Administration’s Southern Region Office, told AMI
Thus far, the NTSB has released few details. “It’s an
ongoing investigation,” Keith Holloway, media relations specialist at the NTSB, told AMI Newswire. “Everything is still on the table. It’s still early in the
investigation, so we are still looking into everything.”
Heidi Kenmer, the NTSB safety investigator in charge of the
case, gave a press briefing from the sheriff’s hangar at Tuscaloosa Regional
Airport on Monday. According to her statement, the Piper PA-31 aircraft crashed
about a quarter mile from the airport. There were six people on board
and all were fatally injured.
Holloway said that the NTSB does not release victim names. Bergen
also did not confirm the names of the victims and recommended contacting local
authorities for that information.
Sgt. Alex Miles, public information officer of the Tuscaloosa
County Sheriff’s Office, told AMI Newswire that the Sheriff’s office was not able to confirm
the identities of the victims because they were still waiting on identification
of one person.
“We’re not making any official statements on anything until
the NTSB finishes their investigation.” Miles said.
However, local press outlets have identified the victims
based on statements from friends and family.
According to local press reports, the passengers of the
plane were from Oxford, Mississippi. They were traveling from Kissimmee,
Florida when the crash occurred.
The victims were Dr. Austin Poole and his wife
Angie Poole, Dr. Michael Perry and his wife Kim Perry, Dr. Lea Farese and her
husband Dr. Jason Farese. The doctors were all dentists. The Oxford Eagle reported that the Farese’s operated
Farese Family Dental in Oxford.
Ray Funeral Home in Cleveland, Mississippi has a page on its website “In Memory of Austin and Angie Poole” with the date Sunday, August 14,
2016, but no obituaries are yet posted.
Police have not yet confirmed who was flying the plane at the
time of the crash.
According to Flight Aware, the plane was registered to
Oxford University Aircraft Charters, LLC. The website of the Secretary of State
for Mississippi lists Jason P. Farese as the registered agent for
Oxford University Aircraft Charters.
In her press briefing,
Kenmer said the NTSB would be looking into “The man, the machine, and the environment.”
This statement was echoed by Holloway, who said that investigation of those
three points is the standard approach for incidents involving aircraft.
Holloway said the NTSB will release a preliminary report
within about 10 days of the crash. That report will document the scene and
provide factual information gathered during the investigation. It will not
determine a cause.
A final report can take 12 to 18 months, Holloway said. Both
reports will be available on the NTSB’s website once they are completed.
The FAA will assist the NTSB and run a parallel
investigation to determine if any aviation regulations were violated,
According to the NTSB’s Summary of US Civil Aviation
Accidents for Calendar Year 2013 (the most recent year for which statistics are
available) there were 1,298 civil aviation accidents that year in the U.S. Of those, 236
were fatal crash, resulting in the deaths of 429 people.