NEW ORLEANS, La. (WDSU) —
The National Transportation and Safety Board has released its preliminary findings on the plane crash that claimed the lives of a pilot and a New Orleans journalist.
Nancy Parker and Franklin Augustus died last month after Augustus’ plane crashed near Lakefront Airport.
According to the preliminary report, the plane was cleared for flight after “meteorological conditions prevailed.”
The report says a flight plan was night filed, but the flight was being conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.
According to the report, Parker was filming the takeoff for a documentary, and film reviewed from the ascent showed the airplane lift off the runway and climb out, then turn to the left toward a downwind.
Shortly after liftoff, Augustus requested a return to the airport, but did not specifically say why.
According to the report, witnesses and tower personnel said the airplane was flying on what appeared to be a left downwind heading toward runway 36, south of the airport.
The airplane continued flying south and did not return toward the airport. Witnesses observed the airplane in what appeared to be in a steep descent, before impact in an open field about .8 miles south of the airport, according to the report.
The report said evidence at the accident site showed that the airplane impacted the ground about 45-degrees nose down.
A post-impact fire consumed most of the airframe, according to the report.
The report said that a review of the airplane’s historical maintenance logs was conducted and no deficiencies were noted.