OHIO COUNTY, Ky. (FOX 56) — The National Transportation Safety Board has released new details regarding what went wrong the day a plane went down near Whitesville, killing a flight instructor and a student.
On Sept. 27, the Federal Aviation Administration contacted Kentucky State Police around 11 p.m. about a missing four-passenger plane with two people known to be on board. The two were later identified as 22-year-old Timothy A. McKellar Jr. of Custer and 18-year-old Connor W. Quisenberry of Beaver Dam.
McKellar, a flight instructor at Eagle Flight Academy, and Quisenberry, a flight student, were on the return leg of a night cross-county flight and had left the airport in Bowling Green for Owensboro just before 10 p.m. CDT, according to a preliminary report.
It was reportedly the first time the two had flown together.
Around 10:15 p.m., the report said McKellar posted an annotated image on social media, shown below, of a navigation tool depicting incoming storms northwest of the plane.
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The pilot contacted air traffic control, issued clearance, and was provided an alternate route to evade the oncoming storms. But McKellar told the controller that the plane was “getting blown around like crazy,” the NTSB report said. The plane’s track showed a turn northwest followed by a “right circling turn.”
McKellar responded that they were in “pretty extreme turbulence.” The flight track showed a continuing right-descending turn, and no further communications were received from the flight.
The plane’s last known ADS-B position, at 10:49 p.m., was about 1,000 feet northwest of the 25-acre debris field that was located by drones in a heavily wooded area the following day. It was there that McKellar and Quisenberry were located and declared deceased by the coroner.
Upon examination of the plane, the engine didn’t show any problems that would have barred normal operation, the report said.