Authorities investigating February’s plane crash that killed five people and injured two in Thomson recovered two recording devices that can be used to piece together the events leading up to the crash.
Investigators are reviewing a voice recorder and an enhanced ground proximity warning system, according to Ralph Hicks, a senior air safety investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board.
Hicks said the warning system is a computerized device that records airspeed, altitude and other basic flight data. The device can alert a pilot if the aircraft is in danger of hitting something.
Hicks said the plane’s voice recorder was badly damaged by fire but did capture the accident sequence and is being reviewed.
The Beechcraft 390 Premier 1 jet was carrying five members of The Vein Guys clinic staff when it crashed after aborting a landing at Thomson-McDuffie Regional Airport about 8 p.m. Feb. 20. The plane went airborne at the end of the runway and hit the top of a 60-foot-tall concrete utility pole.
NTSB member Robert Sumwalt said the plane’s left wing was sheared off, leaking fuel and causing the aircraft to catch fire. The aircraft continued for a quarter-mile and went through trees before crashing in a wooded area.
Vein Guys co-founder Steven Roth was killed, along with employees Tiffany Porter, Lisa Volpitto, Kim Davidson and Heidi McCorkle. The crew was traveling from a vascular surgery practice in Nashville, Tenn., to Thomson, investigators said.
Pilots Richard Trammell and Jeremy Hayden were injured.
Investigators spent almost a week collecting evidence from the wreckage site to determine the probable cause of the crash and how two people survived while others perished. Sumwalt said the plane was nearly destroyed by fire and wreckage was strewn across about 100 yards.
Federal safety officials said there were no distress calls between the pilot and air traffic controllers.
An airport security camera captured some of the aborted landing, and grainy footage was sent to a lab in Washington, D.C., for analysis.
Hicks said investigators have interviewed both pilots, airport personnel, instructors who flew with the pilots in the past, witnesses and others. The jet’s wreckage remains under control of the NTSB and is still being examined.
Hicks said additional details and findings will not be released until the end of the investigation, which could take nine more months.