NTSB report sheds light on Superstition Mountains plane crash - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

NTSB report sheds light on Superstition Mountains plane crash

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PHOENIX -

It's been almost two years since six people died in a horrific plane crash in the Superstition Mountains.

Among the dead, three children and their father from Mesa.

Now a new report from the NTSB is shedding some light on the factors involved in the crash.

The report indicates the Rockwell 690 with six people on board, was operating perfectly.

Flying straight and level - at about 190 knots - when it slammed into the superstition mountains.

Karen Perry lost her three children in the crash.

The last video ever taken of them was captured by security cameras at Falcon Field minutes before they boarded the plane.

The children's father, Shawn Perry and two other men on board also died.

The facts in this latest report point to pilot error as the main cause of the crash.

The report shows the pilot, Russell Hardy, took off to the northeast, made a right turn and likely plotted a straight line to Safford -- a line that took him directly into the mountain. Something referred to as controlled flight into terrain.

The report also notes that the plane that had six seats was required to be equipped with a "Terrain Avoidance warning system." There was no warning system on board.

The plane, also should not have been flying that night.

It had just been purchased in Indiana. The FAA only permitted the plane to be flown from Indiana to Safford for delivery. It should not have been flying or ferrying passengers.

The airspace in the area of the crash has also come into question.

As FOX 10 uncovered in an exclusive report last year, we uncovered a secret internal memo from the FAA.  Three of its own investigators determined the airspace design in the area of the crash is deficient.

Pilots flying visual flight rules in that area have to dodge mountains.  They are not allowed to fly above 5,000 feet because of incoming jetliners --  a problem the FAA has known about for years, but has not corrected.

Airspace is given scant mention in this latest report.

Meantime, Karen Perry reached a settlement with the owner of the airplane - for the wrongful death of her three children.

The final report, which will determine probable cause, should be issued in about a month.
    
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