A preliminary report from federal transportation investigators reveals more details about the fatal plane crash in the Twin Cities earlier this month.
The single-engine aircraft went down in Victoria, Minnesota, around 5:40 p.m. on Aug. 7, hitting a residential yard and then slamming into a home before bursting into flames. The wreck killed all three people onboard. Nobody else was injured.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) the day after said evidence suggested portions of the plane's tail had fallen off.
The agency's preliminary report has now been published, and it provides more details about the tragic crash. (You can see the report here.)
As the aircraft — which had left from Alexandria — neared Flying Cloud Airport to land, a few things happened, the report notes.
At about 9.5 miles out, it veered left off the instrument landing system course and dropped to below 2,700 feet. The plane then turned right and dropped below 2,500 feet — a move that triggered a low altitude alert to the airport's control tower.
The controller sent out a safety alert, which the aircraft's pilot acknowledged.
It was just after that the aircraft abruptly turned left, then "entered a rapid descent." Radar contact and communications went down, and a distress call was never transmitted from the plane.
Witnesses heard loud "popping" noises just before the crash and saw the plane rapidly falling with both of its wings "folded up." The aircraft's left horizontal stabilizer and left elevator were located more than 700 feet from the crash site.
A final report from the NTSB is expected in the months ahead.