GILBERT, Ariz. (FOX 10) - New details have emerged regarding a skydiving plane that crashed in Gilbert nearly three years ago. The NTSB says the plane was brought down by fireworks on board. No one was hurt in the crash - either on the ground or in the plane.
We spoke to one woman who ran out to help keep traffic from the burning home - a home with a plane right in the middle of it, and now we know how the crash happened.
Sept. 17, 2016 - A Cessna 182 was seen burning in the sky before plummeting into a Gilbert home.
"I knew exactly that it was an airplane because I heard the boom," said Paula, a neighbor of the home. She says she ran out of her home to help keep traffic out of the area near Ray and Lindsay Roads.
"I was worried about the people who lived in the home and I was hoping they wouldn't be home but they were," Paula said.
The couple in the burning home survived, but a final report released by the National Transportation Safety Board says the owner of the plane attached a sparkler device to the left wing without the approval of the Federal Aviation Administration.
As a team of skydivers with sparklers on their ankles prepared to jump for Gilbert's Constitutional Week Celebration, the NTSB says the sparkler box exploded, rupturing the fuel line. The pilot shut it off, called for help, and used a parachute to jump out as the plane fell from the sky.
"Fortunately, they weren't injured," Paula said. "I'm sure psychologically, they have to be injured from the experience they had."
The NTSB report says the owner of the plane told the pilot the sparkler attachment was a minor alteration that didn't need FAA approval the day before the crash.