NTSB releases initial report on plane crash that killed Missouri couple

The Piper PA-28-180 was registered to God Speed Aviation, LLC., of Deerfield, Kansas. [image courtesy FlightAware.com]

The National Transportation Safety Board has released an initial report on the crash of a small airplane north of Muscatine last month that killed a couple from Missouri.

The Piper PA-28-180, registered to God Speed Aviation, LLC., of Deerfield, Kansas, went down in a hay field on July 14 at 12:38 p.m., according to the report issued Thursday.

According to Sheriff Quinn Riess, the Muscatine Communications Center received a report from the Quad-City Air Traffic Control at 2:43 p.m. of a possible downed aircraft west of Highway 38 on 170th Street in Muscatine County.

After an extensive search of the area, law enforcement and fire department/EMS personnel located the only occupants in the wreckage, pilot Daniel Slack, 68, and passenger Sharon Slack, 69, both of El Dorado Springs, Missouri.

What may have caused the crash is still not yet known, although there were thunderstorms in the area at the time. The investigation could take between 12 and 24 months to be completed.

The pilot held a private pilot certificate for single-engine airplanes and did not have an instrument rating. No flight plan had been filed and the pilot was not in contact with air traffic control.

The flight originated from the Ford Airport, Iron Mountain, Michigan, 9:18 a.m., and the destination has not been confirmed by the NTSB.

Riess said at that time of the crash it was believed the pair were flying to their home in Missouri.

Flight path of the plane. [courtesy NTSB]

A review of data showed the plane was traveling west-southwest at 2,900 feet just before the crash when it began a right, descending turn. The radius and rate of the turn decreased and the descent rate increased until the last recorded data point.

The final data point showed the plane was 200 feet from the initial impact location traveling south when it impacted the field.

The airplane fragmented upon impact and was distributed in a fan shaped pattern. The fuselage of the airplane came to rest about
435 feet south of the initial impact point.

Final portion of the flight. [imagery courtesy NTSB]