NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — According to a preliminary report, the pilot of a small, private plane that crashed and burned at Nashville International Airport last week had filed a flight plan for a short trip within Canada and was not in touch with air traffic control.
The National Transportation Safety Board says the report on the Oct. 29 crash is not final and could contain errors.
Investigators say the single-engine Cessna 172F could have crashed any time between about 2 a.m., when airport workers inspected the runways, and 8:45 a.m., when another pilot saw the wreckage while taxiing for departure.
The plane was attempting to land in dense fog that required reliance on instruments alone, according to the report.
The crash went unnoticed despite the plane catching fire. The sole occupant, pilot Michael Callan, was killed.
A preliminary review of air traffic control information provided to NTSB by the Federal Aviation Administration showed no communication between air traffic controllers and Callan.
Investigators think the plane hit Nashville International Airport's runway 2C and skidded about 450 feet before coming to a stop east of the runway. The plane came to rest upright and the cabin and cockpit were consumed by fire. The propeller assembly was found about 400 feet from the initial impact, and the engine was about 700 feet away.
Investigators so far have not found any signs of mechanical failure.
The plane was registered to the Windsor Flying Club in Ontario, Canada, and a flight plan listed Callan's destination airport as Pelee Island, also in Ontario. According to the NTSB, Transportation Canada reported Callan closed his flight plan at about 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 28, an action that would normally indicate a pilot had arrived at his or her destination. He did not file any additional flight plans.