NTSB: No radio contact in crash that killed 3 teens
by From Staff, Wire Reports
Jan 11, 2013 | 3589 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The National Transportation Safety Board released a preliminary report Thursday regarding the plane crash that killed three Jasper teenagers on New Year’s night.

The report indicates that on January 1 at about 10:40 central standard time, a twin engine Piper PA-30, collided with terrain during an uncontrolled descent about one mile from the Walker County Airport-Bevill Field in Jasper. A student pilot and two passengers who were on board the aircraft were fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed.

The student pilot was later identified as Jordan Ryan Smith, 17, of Jasper, and the two passengers were Jordan Seth Montgomery, 17, and Brandon Tyler Ary, 19, both of Arley.

According to the report, the airplane was unregistered, and was owned by a private individual. Instrument meteorological conditions and no flight plan had been filed.

The report also indicated the flight departed from the airport at 10:35 p.m. Witnesses said they heard an airplane flying very low and then heard a loud crash. The witnesses said they called 911 and reported an airplane had crashed.

According to the report, the airport manager/instructor said the student pilot worked as a cleanup person at the airport in exchange for flight lessons and had received his flight lessons in a single engine Cessna C-172 airplane. Smith had reportedly completed his first solo flight on April 27, 2012, and after the solo, he no longer received lessons from the airport manager.

The owner of the airplane, identified by his attorney as Ray Whitworth of Jasper, said that he knew the student pilot from his work at the airport, but had never given permission to the student pilot to fly his airplane.

According to the NTSB report, the owner was asked if he had ever taken the student pilot flying in his airplane and he responded “no.” He also said the student pilot did not have a key for his airplane and it was not typically locked.

On the night of the accident, the owner stated he was informed that his airplane was missing from the airport.

When he arrived at the airport, he verified the airplane was missing and reported that it was last seen on Dec. 23, 2012.

According to preliminary information obtained from the NTSB, no air traffic control assistance and no radio transmissions were made by the pilot prior to the accident.

A more detailed report of the investigation will be released by the NTSB at a later time.