Pilot Error Blamed in Double-Fatal Plane Crash
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.