The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

July 3, 2014

NTSB report: No distress calls made before Huntsville plane crash

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — Federal investigators say no distress calls were made by crew members before their plane crashed shortly after takeoff at Huntsville's airport, killing three people on board.

A preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board says witnesses saw the 10-seat Westwind II aircraft climb to an estimated 50 to 200 feet, then roll to the right before it crashed June 18.

The NTSB report released Wednesday says the crew was doing training maneuvers, and the purpose was proficiency exams for two pilots.

Shortly before the fatal flight, the crew told air traffic control it planned a couple more maneuvers before heading back to Birmingham.

Killed in the wreck were 57-year-old William Christopher II of Center Point, Alabama; 67-year-old Kenneth Lynn Rousseau of Harpersville, Alabama; and 60-year-old Robin Gary Smith of Yukon, Oklahoma.

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