Report: Small plane went down in storm in West Virginia, killing 3 people
METZ, W.Va. (AP) — Three people who died when a small plane crashed in West Virginia earlier this month were returning from a day trip on church business in Indiana when it crashed in a severe thunderstorm, authorities said.
The single-engine plane was flying from Washington, Indiana, to Myerstown, Pennsylvania, when it crashed Aug. 11 in the Marion County community of Metz, the National Transportation Safety Board said in a preliminary report. .
According to communications from air traffic control, the pilot and a controller were discussing a line of storms and ways to get around it. The aircraft entered an area of light precipitation when communications with the pilot ceased. Rainfall became heavier over the next six miles (10 kilometers) until it reached extreme intensity, the report said.
The aircraft entered a steep, descending turn that continued until tracking data was lost. The wreckage was found in a hilly, wooded area an hour after the crash.
The plane had undergone an annual inspection the day before the crash, according to the report.
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office has not released the names of the crash victims. A message left for Sheriff Jimmy Riffle was not immediately returned Thursday.
Metz is about 145 kilometers south of Pittsburgh.