Preliminary Report Issued on Oct. 31 Plane Crash
By West Kentucky Star Staff
PADUCAH - The National Transportation Safety Board has issued a preliminary report on the October 31 plane crash that claimed the life of a Paducah physician.

The Piper PA-32R Saratoga piloted by Dr. Clint Hill crashed about 1.5 miles from the end of runway 14 at Barkley Regional Airport and burst into flames. 

The NTSB's report says Hill had been communicating with air traffic control in Memphis and had switched to Paducah's tower during his landing approach. After Hill told the controller he was, "lined up," for a straight-in landing, the plane was cleared to land. 

About 90 seconds later, the controller told the NTSB that Hill said the plane had lost power. When asked, Hill told the controller he thought he could still make it to the runway, but Hill later said, "I'm not going to make it, I'm in the trees." There was no further communication with the plane. 

An examination of the plane's systems indicated that although fire damaged the instrument panel and some other components, the flight control cables, fuel pump and engine appeared to operate normally. 

Officials noted a possible problem with the position of the cockpit's fuel selector control lever, which chooses the fuel tank that is being used. 

The report says it was, "not fully seated in the right fuel tank position. Upon disassembly, the selector plate indicated an intermediate selector valve position. During disassembly, when the selector valve could be rotated and was placed in the left or right fuel tank position detent, it was noted that the associated ports were unobstructed."

Hill was returning from a hunting trip to Mitchell, South Dakota, and had filled the plane's tanks before takeoff. In fact, a representative at Mitchell Municipal Airport who was interviewed by the NTSB commented on how smoothly the engine was running as the plane came to the fuel pumps. 

The NTSB report says Hill had an estimated 570 hours of flight experience, with 450 hours on a Piper Saratoga. The plane was manufactured in 2006 and was last inspected on February 19. 

It's not known when the NTSB will issue a final report on the crash investigation. Friday's preliminary reports says, "This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed."

To read the full report, click the link below.

On the Net:

NTSB Report on Oct. 31 Plane Crash

Published 07:49 PM, Friday Nov. 08, 2019
Updated 10:08 PM, Saturday Nov. 09, 2019



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