MARIETTA, Ohio — Authorities have not determined what caused a small airplane to crash into a southeastern Ohio car dealership, killing two people on board last month.
The National Transportation Safety Board released its preliminary investigation of the crash on Wednesday.
On Oct. 18, the private plane crashed at the Pioneer Buick Dealership on Pike Street about an hour and a half after departing from John Glenn Columbus International Airport. Timothy F. Gifford, 49, and 45-year-old Eric Seevers were both on the aircraft and died.
The preliminary report says that Gifford and Seevers were in communication with the Indianapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center and that their discussions were normal.
The controllers cleared the flight to descend and also cleared a runway for them to use at Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport (PKB).
The controllers at PKB cleared the plane to land as it approached the final three miles of its trip and no further communication was received from the crew.
Multiple witnesses at the airport and in the area around the crash site said the plane was flying normally, but suddenly took a steep descent and spun vertically to the ground, according to the report.
The NTSB says preliminary weather information at the time of the crash shows pilot reports throughout the area of trace to moderate icing conditions.
The fire caused by the crash destroyed most of the fuselage, the cockpit, the anti-icing system and other parts of the plane.
The NTSB says it will take one to two years to determine what caused the crash.
You can read the preliminary report here.