More details released on St. Charles County plane crash that killed 2

Missouri

ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. — Federal investigators are in St. Charles County trying to figure out what led to a deadly plane crash Saturday evening.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration have taken over the investigation, and their crews visited the crash site Monday afternoon. While the cause of the crash is still unclear, some details have surfaced.

Two people were killed when the small plane crashed in a wooded area near Highway F in the New Melle area around 7 p.m. Saturday. NTSB spokesperson Peter Knudson said those on board were pilots.

“The airplane had climbed to about 8,000 feet on an instrument flight plan and then began a rapid descent that continued all the way to the crash site. There was no communication from the flight crew after the descent began,” Knudson told FOX 2.

Investigators will determine if the weather was a factor in the crash.

“We obviously had some bad weather,” said New Melle Fire Chief Dan Casey. “The ceiling was 1,000 feet, so it was not a whole lot of visual notification for the pilot. We know that with the fog and the rain, it was not the greatest flying weather. It was very difficult to try to locate anything. When the aircraft did strike the ground, it did not burst into flames.”

A map shows where a small plane crashed in St. Charles County on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022.

Casey said air traffic control pinpointed where they lost contact with the aircraft and how fast the plane was traveling, though the speed has not yet been disclosed to the public.

“Once we did get some of that information, find out how fast the aircraft was traveling, we didn’t know if it was doing any gliding in an attempt to land or if it had just gone straight down, which apparently that’s what happened,” said Casey.

The Beechcraft Baron 58 aircraft was leaving the Spirit of Saint Louis Airport headed to Centennial Airport just outside of Denver, Colorado.  

Shortly after the crash, some residents called 911 to report hearing a loud boom.

“We started receiving phone calls stating that people heard a plane crash and a loud boom,” said Casey. “We used a lot of witness information, folks that said they heard something. They thought it sounded pretty close.”

Officials have not yet released the names of the two people who died in the crash.  The NTSB will hold a news conference Tuesday to provide additional information.

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