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NTSB releases report on Bolingbrook plane crash

Narayan Venguswamy
November 7, 2013 8:29:26 AM PST
A new report from the National Transportation Safety Board has determined a recent plane crash in Bolingbrook that killed the pilot and his wife occurred during a go-around and after a failed attempt to land.

Bolingbrook Plane Crash Pictures

"The airplane was captured on 1C5 airport surveillance cameras while attempting to land. A review of the video showed that the airplane touched down multiple times about half way down the runway. The airplane was observed making a left turn after takeoff, descending, and then proceeding out of camera view," the preliminary report says.

"It is a maneuver and it has to be done correctly and if it's not done correctly, it can have outstanding ramifications," said Lee Roberts, pilot.

Pilots say the wind switched mid-day from east to west, making for a complicated crosswind at the airport.

"You need more experience to deal with a crosswind; it's as simple as that. As winds get stronger your ability needs to also get stronger," said Roberts.

Clow Airport doesn't have a control tower. Automated weather data comes from a Romeoville station eight miles away. Pilot Howard McIntyre who landed at Clow three hours before the crash says the combination of an aborted landing and a crosswind can make for tricky flying.

"As you pull up, the wind kind of pushes you down a little bit so you really have to watch and make sure you have a good rate of climb," said McIntyre.

The small plane was attempting to land in the early evening September 25 at Clow Airport after flying in from Georgetown, Ky.

Witnesses reported seeing the airplane depart the runway and make a left turn at a low altitude. The airplane continued to descend, struck a tree and a light pole before impacting a parking lot and sidewalk, the NTSB reports. A fire erupted after the plane crashed.

Weather at the time was clear and sunny. The airframe and engine of the plane will continue to be examined, the NTSB said.

Surgeon Narayan Venguswamy, known as Dr. Vengu at Georgetown Community Hospital in Kentucky, was the pilot. He had been badly burned and later died at a hospital. His wife, Jay, was pronounced dead on the scene.

The charred remains of the single engine Cirrus SR-20 were removed from the scene the next day and taken to a secure location. The NTSB says this type of aircraft does not have a black box and the fire impacted the investigation.

"It does become somewhat more difficult because we have less airplane but we can still get what we need," said Josh Lindberg, NTSB.

The NTSB will look at whether Dr. Venguswamy ran out of space on the runway. The couple was flying in for a medical conference. The two had been married for 27 years.

"It crashed right away in flames, it was just horrendous. He was saying 'help my wife, help my wife," said George Steimer, witness. "He was on fire."

The plane was built in 2004 and re-certified as air-worthy a little more than a year-and-a-half ago.


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