NTSB: Pilot Partly To Blame For OKC Crash That Killed Him

Tuesday, June 21st 2011, 9:39 am
By: News 9


OKLAHOMA CITY -- The National Transportation Safety Board says the pilot bears part of the blame for the crash of an airplane two years ago that killed him and injured his four passengers.

The pilot, 59-year-old Ron Meyer, died when the single-engine Beech Bonanza went down just after takeoff at 9 a.m. on July 25, 2009.

According to investigators, the pilot reported engine problems moments after taking off from Wiley Post Airport.

The NTSB says the pilot was making an emergency landing when the plane clipped a tree and crashed in front of a Bank of Oklahoma along Northwest Expressway.

7/25/2009  Related Story:  1 Killed in Aircraft Crash on Northwest Expressway
7/27/2009  Related Story:  4 Injured In Plane Crash Remain Hospitalized

According to its newly-released Probable Cause report, the NTSB blames the crash on the pilot's decision to fly the airplane even though it had known problems.

"The airplane had a previous history of in-flight engine stoppages, and the engine lost power twice within the week before the accident," the report reads. 

Read the Probable Cause report.

The NTSB says the pilot didn't have his mechanic investigate the problem, because the pilot believed he could deal with the problem by simply moving the fuel tank selector switch.

The report describes the medical problems the pilot was having, including "anxiety, depression, high blood pressure and obstructive sleep apnea, among other significant conditions."  But the report says the pilot didn't mention any of those problems in his most recent application for medical clearance to fly.

Even so, the NTSB says it's not possible to conclusively determine whether distraction or impairment due to his medical conditions or to medication use may have played a role in his decision-making following the loss of engine power.