Investigators discuss the latest on deadly Ohio County plane crash

Investigators discuss the latest on tragic Ohio County plane crash
Published: Sep. 29, 2023 at 2:58 PM CDT
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OHIO CO., Ky. (WFIE) - The final leg of an instructional nighttime flight gone wrong, leaving two young men dead.

Investigators held a press conference Friday discussing the crash that claimed the lives of a pilot and student in Ohio County.

Yesterday afternoon, the coroner identified pilot Timothy A. McKellar Jr., 22, of Custer, and flight student Connor W. Quisenberry, 18, of Beaver Dam as the deceased victims.

Although new details are scarce, an NTSB official revealed that flight instructor took over for the student after coming across storms.

“We all know there was weather. We know that the air traffic control was weather. We knew that the pilot said there was weather,” says NTSB Investigator Dan Boggs, “that’s definitely at the top of our list.”

Now, the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration are looking into what could’ve possibly caused this.

“It’s spread out almost three-quarters of a mile from one part to the other,” says Boggs, “you just get 20, 30 yards apart and you just walk the mountainside.”

It’s slow-going, looking to find each piece of the destroyed aircraft spread amongst roughly 40 acres and three mountain tops according to Boggs.

“When you’re in the side of a mountain and it’s slippery, and it rained for a day and a half, and it’s muddy, we just try to gather that and be as gentle as we can and get it to a place we can do a complete layout and investigation,” says Boggs.

Boggs says right now the only large piece they’re still looking for is a portion of the elevator.

Once everything is collected and shipped off for further examination, they’ll begin their investigation into pilot qualifications, potential human error, and of course, the weather.

“We got a team in DC right now pulling all the charts and graphs, and they will overlay the flight of the aircraft with the weather, and once I get back we’ll be able to look at all that together,” explains Boggs.

They say they’ll also be looking into the protocols surrounding the flight school the two men were associated with, Eagle Flight Academy, as they work toward finding answers as to what happened 4,000 feet in the air on Wednesday night.

Boggs says barring a government shutdown, they’ll be able to have a preliminary report published within the next 10 to 15 days.

As for finalized reports, he says that could take anywhere between 16 and 18 months due to the large amount of data and evidence to work through and document.

You can watch that press conference in the video player below.