NTSB Blames Weather, Pilot For Fatal Okmulgee County Plane Crash
OKMULGEE COUNTY, Oklahoma - The National Transportation Safety Board blames weather and the pilot for a fatal plane crash in Okmulgee County in 2014.
The crash happened on September 19, 2014 near Preston.
The pilot, 63-year-old Gene Thompson, was the only person on board and died in the crash.
The NTSB said Thompson had taken off in a rented Cessna 172R from Fort Worth Spinks Airport at 5:00 that morning. The NTSB said the plane crashed at about 7:40.
Thompson was headed to Jones Riverside airport, the NTSB said. When he didn't arrive on schedule, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and the Civil Air Patrol launched a search and found the wreckage that evening.
In its Probable Cause Report, the NTSB blamed the crash on the pilot's continued visual flight into instrument meteorological conditions, which resulted in his failure to maintain clearance with trees and terrain.
The NTSB said there was rain and mist in Fort Worth and in the Tulsa area during the flight. Radar data showed the airplane flying toward Jones Riverside until it was about 22 miles from the airport, at which point it began making turns for undetermined reasons before heading toward a different airport, according to the NTSB.
Radar data then showed the plane make a climbing turn away from the airport, the NTSB said. Shortly after making the turn, the airplane crashed into trees and the ground, according to the report.
The NTSB said there is no evidence the pilot made any distress calls and it could find no problems with the airplane. Thompson had several medical conditions, but the NTSB said there is no evidence they contributed to the accident.