WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Almost two-and-a-half years after a plane crash in Mississippi killed three Wichita Falls residents, the final report on the crash is in, reflecting the longer and longer delays for completing final reports by the NTSB.
The report stated the cause was due to a pilot error in the landing approach.
The plane crashed into a residential area late at night on May 4, 2021, in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, killing the three on board and one on the ground. Two other residents on the ground were injured.
The Wichita Falls victims were United Regional neurosurgeon Louis Provenza, 23-year-old Anna Calhoun and her two-year-old daughter Harper.
The plane was making its final approach to the Hattiesburg airport when it crashed into a home, with the ensuing fire destroying most of the plane and home. Weather conditions were clear, with visibility of 10 miles.
The plane’s ground proximity warning system was recovered and revealed it sounded warnings to pull up from excessive descent rates. Data showed as the plane descended, it continued to decelerate, and that the last calculated airspeed before the crash was 85 kilometers, about seven kilometers above stall speed.
The FAA said in the final approach the plane should have a minimum speed of 120 kilometers.
Data from the plane also recorded previous flights before this flight, and it showed two approaches with large variations in airspeed that were either above or below the recommended approach speeds. The report also cited a hard landing the pilot was involved in in 2011 in which another plane which resulted in severe damage.
The inspection of the airframe and engines did not reveal any failures or issues that would affect normal operation.
The report concluded that the pilot’s failure to maintain control during the night instrument approach led to a stall from which the pilot was unable to recover.