NTSB: Problem Reported Shortly After Takeoff of C'ville-Bound Plane

By: Laura Mammarella; AP Email
By: Laura Mammarella; AP Email

April 12, 2010

Investigators say the pilot of a single-engine plane that crashed at Roanoke Regional Airport in March reported locked controls a minute after he was cleared for takeoff.

National Transportation Safety Board investigator Jill Demko says pilot Peter Sheeran, 59, was trying to return to the airport when the 1985 Piper PA-46 went down and caught fire.

In a preliminary report, the National Transportation Safety Board says Peter Sheeran reported that the Piper PA-46's wheel controls were locked. An air traffic controller then cleared Sheeran to land on any runway.

The report says a witness told authorities the plane was moving slowly, "rocking a little left and right." It began to bank to the right and hit a wire shortly afterward.

The plane then hit a UPS Freight building. Sheeran was killed and a passenger, John Whitmer, was injured in the March 30 crash.

The accident remains under investigation.

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