Report yields few clues to cause of fatal plane crash - East Valley Tribune: Phoenix & The Valley Of The Sun

Report yields few clues to cause of fatal plane crash

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Posted: Tuesday, November 1, 2005 2:54 am | Updated: 10:08 am, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

A preliminary report issued by the National Transportation Safety Board on Monday sheds little light on a plane crash that killed Paradise Valley resident Jacob Lundell.

The 21-year-old man died on impact Oct. 22 when the French-made Nord 3202 he was piloting went down near Casa Grande Municipal Airport. Lundell, who was the sole occupant in the twoseater plane, was practicing takeoffs and landings at the time, according to his family.

The four-page NTSB report does not suggest a cause for the crash, nor does it mention the possibility of a second plane in the area.

The aircraft crashed near the final approach course for runway 5, the report states. Planes generally are about 250 feet above ground at the point where Lundell’s plane went down.

Lundell was flying at 800 to 1,000 feet above ground when he crashed while trying to avoid another small airplane, his uncle Dwight Lundell said last week. The second plane never landed and left the scene, he said.

NTSB investigators have not yet interviewed Jacob Lundell’s father, Paradise Valley surgeon Mark Lundell, nor his brother, Isaac Lundell, who were at the airport at the time of the crash, investigator Kristi Dunks said Monday.

"They are dealing with the loss of a son, so obviously, we’re taking that into consideration. They are planning on interviews with us early this week," she said.

Casa Grande airport officials have no information about a second aircraft, said airport director Doug Easterday.

"I didn’t witness the incident. Nobody that works here did. I mean, the first word we got was when we saw the emergency vehicles going," Easterday said.

Investigators are seeking additional witnesses and ask anyone with information to call Dunks at (310) 380-5658.

Dwight Lundell said he had not seen the NTSB report and declined comment Monday.

The NTSB’s final report probably will be issued in six months to a year, Dunks said.

The single-engine aircraft was heavily damaged, the report states. The left wing was pulled toward the tail and crumpled; the right wing was bent forward. One propeller blade was twisted; the other was bent underneath the engine.

The low-wing Nord Jacob Lundell was flying was built in 1961.

Jacob Lundell had an expired student pilot license, the report states. He had returned from a two-year mission to the Philippines for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints just weeks before the crash.

Fellow missionary William Mortensen of Tropic, Utah, said it was difficult for those who served with Jacob Lundell to learn of his death. "We’re still stunned that our great friend died," he wrote in an e-mail to the Tribune.

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