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Engine Problem May Have Led to Fatal Plane Crash, Preliminary Report Says

The scene of the crash -- a wooded area off White Ave. in the city of Fulton.
The scene of the crash -- a wooded area off White Ave. in the city of Fulton.

A preliminary report from federal investigators says that people heard what sounded like motor problems with the hand-built plane that crashed in a Fulton field Dec. 1.

The crash killed the plane’s builder and owner, John R. Wing of Richland.  He built the Wittman Tailwind W10 from a kit and was taking it on its second flight when the crash occurred.

He had received a license to begin flying the plane in early November and was trying to put in the 40 hours of air time needed for a permanent license, the report said.

“According to several eyewitnesses, the airplane engine was cutting in and out and then the airplane was observed in a nose down attitude prior to impact,” the report noted.

The plane first hit a 100 foot tall tree.  It hit the ground nose first with an impact hard enough to drive the engine three feet into the ground.

A preliminary report is usually issued within days of an air accident.  A final report will come several months to a year later, after airplane parts and other evidence are studied.