Report: Pilot to blame for crash

Tuesday, April 22nd 2008, 8:05 pm
By: News 9

By Kirsten McIntyre, NEWS 9

The final report regarding a 2004 plane crash that killed six Oklahomans has been released to the public.

The National Transportation Safety Board released the report on Tuesday that concluded the crash was caused by pilot error, but some of the victims' families are now asking if it could have been prevented.

"It's very hard to wait, and you're just not knowing is the hardest part," Earl Jones said.

His son, Jason, died in the crash almost four years ago, along with five other Oklahomans.

"It's a relief. We now know what basically happened," Jones said.

It was August 3, 2004 when Jason Jones, Curtis Treadwell and his family and pilot Richard Fisher, took off from Lakeway Airpark in Austin.

The investigation showed the pilot ran out of runway during takeoff and stalled the aircraft. The small plane went into a nosedive, crashing moments later.

NTSB investigator Gene Doub said the final report showed the plane had not completed its annual inspection.

"So, it's considered by law not airworthy," Doub said.

Fisher, the pilot, had a questionable history, including two recent accidents, and had both his insurance company and the Federal Aviation Administration concerned about his flying.

"He was ordered to appear before the FFA for a re-examination," Doub said. "He just flaunted that in their face and contacted them the day before the accident and told them to call his lawyer."

Doub said he believes the FFA should have used emergency procedures to suspend Fisher's license.

Fisher's insurance company was not required to pay any money to any of the victims' families because the aircraft had not been inspected.