Investigation continues in Yates crash
PENN YAN--Air Safety Investigator Doug Brazy of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said it could take up to a year to determine the cause of Sunday, May 3's fatal plane crash at the Penn Yan
Airport. Brazy said during a brief press conference Monday, May 4, the NTSB is still "in the fact finding stage of the investigation," adding a preliminary report will be available within 10 days at www.ntsb.gov, while a more detailed report will also be available in six to eight months.
"The safety board is here to investigate the facts and the circumstances of this airplane accident, and hopefully recommend safety changes to try to prevent a tragedy like this from happening again," Brazy said. "At this stage of our accident investigation we are looking at the following three areas: the man, the machine and the environment. [...] We will be looking at records of the pilot's experience and training, among other things. We will be examining the airplane and the engine. That process has already begun today. It is not over yet. And by the environment I mean things like weather conditions and recorded observations: the wind, temperature and environmental variables."
Brazy said he is being assisted by two members of the Rochester Flight Standards District Office of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), as well as one representative from the aircraft manufacturer Cessna, now named Textron Aviation. He said he is also being assisted by additional NTSB investigators as well. Yates County Sheriff Ron Spike said his department will only be involved in an ancillary capacity to aid the investigation going forward.
Brazy said the preliminary report available within 10 days will contain basic information and facts that have been gathered so far. He said in six to eight months, the NTSB will release another report, which will detail all the facts that have been gathered as part of the investigation at that point.
"The probably cause of an accident can take up to a year, and that's determined by the National Transportation Safety Board," Brazy said.
Brazy said the details available as of Monday, May 4, include the plane's registration number, 3969L, and model, a four seat Cessna 172G built in 1966. He said the NTSB is still unable to determine the precise time of the accident, adding the plane is in the process of being moved to a secure facility at the airport for continued examination out of the rain.
Brazy said he arrived in Penn Yan at 10:30 p.m. Sunday, and will stay between three and four days to investigate the accident before returning to the NTSB center in Ashburn, Virginia. He said they have begun the examination of the airplane, which he expects completed by Tuesday, May 5. Brazy said they are also gathering the names and locations of several witnesses to the accident while conducting interviews, while also collecting FAA records on the pilot and airplane.