The Federal Aviation Administration has issued preliminary findings in the Nov. 30, 2013, plane crash that took the life of pilot Nick Loggins, 18, of Elkmont, according to the National Transportation Safety Board website.
Loggins was piloting his 1977 Piper aircraft, purchased just one month earlier, when he crashed at about 1:20 p.m. off Veto Road, just north of Elkmont Cotton Gin, not a mile from his home.
Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely said Loggins was flying from Pryor Field to Abernathy Field at Pulaski, Tenn., where the plane was to be permanently based.
The NTSB report quotes an unnamed witness as saying Loggins’ plane was flying “extremely low, below 100 feet, at high speed doing knife edge turns.”
The witness account went on to say that the plane was maneuvering for about 5 minutes, then did a maneuver directly above the witness, recovered and flew off to the east.
About 3 minutes later, the plane returned and flew the same maneuvers. It made two or three tight turns at a low level and high speed then “went wings level,” according to the witness.
The witness then heard a “pop,” and the engine quit. The airplane nosed down, the witness lost sight of it behind trees then 2 or 3 seconds later heard a crash.
The FAA inspector reported that impact marks indicated the airplane hit a power pole about 10 feet above the ground then struck the ground about 35 feet from the pole and continued for about 120 feet until the left wing struck an abandoned house.
The plane then spun around and came to rest about 30 feet from the house.