NTSB releases preliminary report in airport crash
McARTHUR — The National Transportation Safety Board released a preliminary report on Jan. 6 regarding the fatal Christmas Eve plane crash at the Vinton County Airport.
The report doesn’t specify the cause of the crash of a Beech model 19A that crashed on Dec. 24 along Airport Road, instantly killing the two passengers aboard and fatally wounding the pilot.
According to the report, the airport manager reported seeing the plane depart from the airport several hours before the accident. The report states the plane had no flight plan registered.
The report states a witness who lives near the accident site reported hearing the airplane “rev up.” The witness said he looked outside and saw the airplane above the runway and climbing toward the west at about treetop level. He said he didn’t continue watching the plane but heard the impact a few seconds later.
According to the report, the direction of travel was to the west-southwest. The airplane slid into the roadside ditch on the south side of Airport Road, which runs parallel to the runway, and came to rest facing north.
Earlier reports indicated that the plane had been attempting to land when it crashed.
The plane was registered to Kevin Byers, 54, of Columbus. His fiance, Siobhan Reynolds, 50, of Logan and his mother, Eudora Byers, 78, of Mansfield were killed in the crash. Byers was transported to Ohio State University Medical Center in Columbus, where he died Dec. 25.
Reynolds was the founder of the Pain Relief Network, and an advocate for doctors who prescribe chronic pain sufferers high doses of opioid pain relief medication.
Byers, a Columbus-based attorney who defended medical physicians and professionals, had focused primarily on medical professionals and pain patients who have been unable to receive certain forms of medical attention and treatment.
Vinton County Pilot and Booster Association Secretary Steve Keller said the crash is the second major incident he knows of at the airport. There was a fatal crash nearly 12 years ago, where one person was killed.
According to the NTSB, investigators will continue forming the basis for later analysis and drafting of a proposed report that goes to the Safety Board itself, 12 to 18 months from the date of the accident. Safety recommendations may be issued at any time during the course of an investigation.
The preliminary report is subject to change pending the results of the continued investigation.
For earlier coverage on this crash, read our other stories: