New NTSB Report Sheds Light On Fatal Plane Crash Near Havre De Grace
HAVRE DE GRACE - On Tuesday, the National Transportation Safety Board released a report revealing new details surrounding the fatal plane crash that killed Army Major General Anthony W. Potts on July 25.
According to the report, Major General Potts had a brief discussion with an aircraft technician about his upcoming flight in his single-engine Piper PA-28R-200 around 7:00 p.m. - minutes before its tragic takeoff last month. Potts informed the technician that he intended to fly the propeller aircraft around the airport's traffic pattern that evening.
Moments after takeoff, Pott's plane tragically crashed in a hayfield between Old Level Road and Route 155 in Churchville.
The Baltimore Sun reports that first responders located the crash site after an exhaustive search around 7:30 p.m. Potts, the sole victim, was declared dead at the scene.
The plane was initially believed to have gone down in Havre de Grace, but the NTSB's new report clarified the exact location in Churchville.
Eyewitness accounts detailed in the report state that one individual heard the aircraft's engine operate for roughly 45 seconds post-takeoff - closely followed by the sound of a crash. Another eyewitness observed the aircraft flying notably low, with its wings almost vertical to the ground.
Notably, none of the witnesses reported typical signs of engine malfunction, like irregular noises.
The report also highlighted that Potts' aircraft underwent significant maintenance the day before the crash, including fitting a new propeller.
According to the report, the aircraft exhibited unusual behavior after this addition, moving even when brakes were fully engaged during a power test. The ill-fated flight was the aircraft's maiden voyage post-inspection.
The aircraft's remnants remain under investigation by the NTSB. The agency aims to present a comprehensive report on this incident, complete with updated safety guidelines, within the next two years.
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