Final Report Issued In Deadly Tulsa Plane Crash

Monday, June 15th 2009, 3:39 pm
By: News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Federal investigators have identified the cause of a deadly plane crash in Tulsa last year.

The twin-engine Aero Commander 500B turboprop crashed in an ice storm near the Tulsa Zoo after dark on the evening of January 16th, 2008.

Related story:  1/17/2008  Pilot In Fatal Crash Identified

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, the plane broke apart after the pilot became disoriented and lost control.

The pilot, 31-year-old Darrin Ogletree of Dallas, had just taken off for Oklahoma City with a load of bank records.

He reported problems with his instruments moments before the crash.

According to the report, the air traffic controller observed the airplane in a right turn and asked the pilot to report his altitude.

"The pilot responded he thought he was at 3,500 feet and he thought he had lost the gyros. The pilot said he was trying to level out, and when the controller informed the pilot he observed the airplane on radar making a 360-degree right turn, the pilot said 'roger.'"

The report goes on to say, "Three minutes and 23 seconds after departure the pilot said 'yeah, I'm having some trouble right now' and there were no further radio communications from the flight."

According to the NTSB report, Ogletree had 4,373 total flight hours, including 695 hours in the type of airplane in which he crashed.

Read the NTSB's Probable Cause report.