Plane Crash Investigation Continues

By: Lisa Ferrari
By: Lisa Ferrari

June 15, 2006

Investigators continue to search for answers as to what caused a deadly plane crash in Albemarle County yesterday.

Tonight we are learning the names of the two men killed in the crash. They were David Brown and Robert Baldwin, New England businessmen who were developing the land on Qroe farm where their plane crashed.

Piece by piece, National Transportation Safety Board investigators carefully photographed and removed all of the debris.

“We have to document the wreckage because once we move the wreckage the positions [and] how the wreck looks actually changes, so that is our primary focus right now. We can look in the training records, we can look in the maintenance records, we can look in the FAA records at a later date,” said NTSB Sr. Investigator Paul Cox.

With no black box on a single-engine aircraft, documenting the wreckage is a crucial step to figuring out what caused the aircraft to crash.

“Typically on a larger airplane you have a cockpit voice recorder and particularly with the airlines, a flight data recorder. This particular airplane does not have those on board,” said Cox.

The pilot flew in and out of this area numerous times, and in fact had hundreds of hours of flight time under his belt.

At this time federal investigators say they don't have enough information to speculate what caused this crash, but they will have preliminary conclusions within a week. They say then the families will have some consolation in knowing what caused their loved ones’ deaths.

The families of David Brown and Robert Baldwin arrived in Virginia this morning and were told they may visit the crash site, and that all of the wreckage will be cleared from the site by Thursday night.

The NTSB says they will publish the findings of the investigation on their website.

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