Pilot Error Blamed in Double-Fatal Plane Crash

7 years 7 months 2 weeks ago Wednesday, July 06 2011 Jul 6, 2011 Wednesday, July 06, 2011 12:26:00 PM CDT July 06, 2011 in News
By: Associated Press

CAHOKIA, Ill. (AP) - Federal investigators say pilot error was to blame for the fatal crash of a small plane that slammed into a southwestern Illinois house and hangar, then burst into flames.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the National Transportation Safety Board found no mechanical problems with the single-engine Piper aircraft that crashed in rain and fog near Belleville on the night of Feb. 21, 2010.

The crash and ensuing fire killed 65-year-old Donald Estell of Clayton, Mo., and 77-year-old Robert Clarkson of Belleville. The NTSB says Estell was the pilot.

The board's report found that Estell was returning from Florida and trying a second approach to St. Louis Downtown Airport in Cahokia when the plane went down about five miles away.

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