NTSB begins investigation into Yeager plane crash

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The National Transportation Safety Board said it began gathering information Friday about the cargo plane and crew involved in a crash at Yeager Airport.

The crash of Air Cargo Carriers Flight 1260 happened around 6:55 a.m. The plane was arriving from Louisville, Kentucky.

Two pilots died in the wreck and the plane, a Short 330, was broken into pieces along Runway No. 5.

This is a photo of the actual plane that crashed Friday.

Air Cargo Carriers is a contractor for UPS.

Federal investigators arrived in Charleston at 5 p.m.

NTSB Investigator Bill English said Friday evening there were no distress calls or indications of problems from the pilots.

“We do have an airport security video that depicts the event and the aircraft’s approach,” he said. “We’ve begun gathering records from the company about the aircraft and the crew.”

English said they do have initial information of the plane approaching the runway with its left wing closer to the ground, but he did not want to state the angle of the plane at impact.

The victims’ names have not been released, though both pilots, a man and a woman, are from West Virginia, according to Kanawha County officials.

English said the victims’ information would be released by the West Virginia Medical Examiner’s office.

English said the NTSB will review the pilots’ actions and training; the wreckage site; the maintenance of the aircraft; actions by air traffic controllers; weather conditions when the wreck occurred; and briefings at the time of the accident.

English also said there was a 10-mile visibility at the time of the crash, as well as reports of low clouds and valley fog during that period.

“We expect this on-scene phase of the investigation to last anywhere from three to four days,” he said.

The NTSB will also be contacting multiple organizations and agencies as part of its long-term investigation. This includes the Federal Aviation Administration, Air Cargo Carriers and the Northern Ireland-based Shorts Brothers Co.

The Air Accidents Investigations Branch of the United Kingdom will also be involved.

Yeager Airport canceled all flights Friday because of the damage; English said there were gouge marks in the runway from where the plane touched the ground.

He said he could not know when the airport would reopen until NTSB officials looked at the runway Saturday.

“What we plan to do is a rolling release of documenting the runway, then returning that to the airport so they can get that back into shape,” English stated. “Right now, I don’t want to promise any times.”

The NTSB will hold another media briefing Saturday, but English did not announce a time and location of that event.

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