Almost a year after three people were killed in the crash of a twin-engine plane in Caledonia, Minn., the National Transportation Safety Board is not offering many clues why.
The plane was traveling from Troy, Mich., to Houston County airport in Caledonia when it crashed into a field in the middle of the afternoon, a half-mile from the airport.
In its factual report issued today, the NTSB reported that the one man who survived the November 1, 2013 crash doesn’t remember it.
The surviving passenger later reported that his first recollection was wakening up in the hospital. He stated that he could not remember any details surrounding the accident, nor did he recall any comments made to the first responders. In subsequent conversations with the passenger, he still could not recall any details of the accident; however, he did recall events prior to, and shortly after takeoff. He was the first one to arrive at airport, followed afterwards by the others. The pilots conducted a preflight, opened tanks, went under the wing to sample the fuel, and looked at the airplane. The pilot had sandwiches for everyone; he remembered the airplane taxiing out and the run up, and then flying along. He then remembered waking up in the hospital.
Killed in the crash were Joel Alan Garrett, 79, of Troy, Mich.; Dale Edward Garrett, 49, of Berkley, Mich.; and John Paul Bergeron, 50, of Birmingham, Mich.
The NTSB reported examination of the engines showed no problems, the plane had fuel at the time of the crash, and the weather did not present any obvious problem.
The NTSB report said the survivor, Joseph Stevens, 61, of Bloomfield, Michigan, doesn’t know why they would have landed in the Minnesota city.
The surviving passenger stated that he didn’t know why they would be at Caledonia; however, typically they would pick a place about half-way to their destination, to exercise the dogs, use the restroom,and to refuel the airplane. He added that he’d flown with them numerous times, and never observed anything unsafe with the pilots or airplane. The usual routine would be to put the airplane away full of fuel.
There were no eyewitnesses to the crash.