NTSB Releases Preliminary Report On Plane Crash That Killed Cirrus Engineer
The National Transportation Safety Board has released its preliminary report involving February’s Cirrus plane crash in Duluth that killed one of the aircraft company’s longtime employees.
The NTSB said pilot David Rathbun was the only person on board the 2016 SR22 Cirrus aircraft.
He took off from the Duluth International Airport around 4 p.m. Feb. 24.
The weather was calm at the time, according to the report.
The end destination was the Richard I. Bong Airport in Superior.
But just four minutes after takeoff, the plane “suddenly pitched down about 30 degrees” before nose diving into the frozen St. Louis River near the Bong Bridge.
Cockpit data revealed the engine was “operating in a normal range until the end of data,” according to the NTSB.
Rathbun, 52, was a longtime chief engineer for Cirrus. He had more than 3,800 hours of flight experience.