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Lake Erie Crash Pilot a Rookie Flying His Own Jet, Says NTSB

Image: Lake Erie Crash Pilot a Rookie Flying His Own Jet, Says NTSB

A recovery team pulls boat from Lake Erie near crash site. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
 

By    |   Friday, 20 Jan 2017 12:34 PM

A businessman who crashed his jet carrying his family and friends into Lake Erie last month was a rookie pilot on that type of aircraft who received his certification to fly it only 21 days before.

The Cessna Citation 525 crashed on Dec. 29, one minute after takeoff, when it suddenly lost altitude. A report from the National Transportation Safety Board did not reveal the cause of the crash.

John Fleming was killed in the crash along with his wife, Sue Fleming, and their teenage sons, Jack and Andrew Fleming. Also killed were a neighbor, Brian Casey, and his daughter Megan, a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said The Associated Press.

They were heading back to Columbus following a Cleveland Cavaliers basketball game that evening. So far, some human remains and hundreds of pieces of debris have been recovered from the crash site.

Fleming, a CEO for a beverage distributor from Columbus, Ohio, had received his pilot’s certification on Dec. 8 after completing an FAA practical test, Cleveland.com reported. He used the plane for the practical test and completed a simulator-based training course on Dec. 17. He had purchased the plane two months before.

A recovered cockpit voice recorder revealed Fleming had requested clearance to take off from Burke Lakefront Airport at 11:45 p.m. and was cleared by an air traffic controller about 10 minutes later, the NTSB report noted. Fleming was advised to maintain an altitude of 2,000 feet but reached an altitude of 2,925 feet and began quickly descending about five seconds later.

The final data point recorded the plane’s altitude at about 775 feet and the controller never heard a response from Fleming after attempting communication following takeoff.
A search-and-rescue procedure began hours later and was hampered by weather conditions during the next several weeks.

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A businessman who crashed his jet carrying his family and friends into Lake Erie last month was a rookie pilot on that type of aircraft who received his certification to fly it only 21 days before.
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Friday, 20 Jan 2017 12:34 PM
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