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NTSB Releases Report In Deadly Plane Crash
Updated September 30, 2014 7:20 AM
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(MONROE CO.) - The National Transportation Safety Board has released its preliminary report into the deadly plane crash that happened near Bloomington earlier this month.

The Sept. 18 crash killed 51-year-old Russell Kotlarek of Saukville, Wisconsin and 72-year-old Thomas Saccio of Blounts Creek, North Carolina.

The NTSB says a flight plan was not filed. Initial reports indicated the pilot contacted the control tower operator at the Monroe County Airport and reported he had a low fuel pressure indicator problem.

Several witnesses reported seeing the plane -- a kit-built Seawind 3000 seaplane -- according to the NTSB. One witness said the plane was on fire.

The seaplane crashed about three miles north of the Monroe County Airport, in a wooded area on Oard Road near State Road 48.

Using dental record comparisons, Monroe County Coroner Nicole Meyer determined Kotlarek and 72-year-old Saccio were the two men who died in a plane crash.

The preliminary causes of death are trauma as a result of the crash. The final causes are pending toxicology reports. Both men are pilots.

Indiana State Police say the crash happened at 12:58 p.m. in a wooded area behind 85 Oard Road near State Road 48, approximately one-quarter mile north of the Monroe County Airport.

According to police, a person on board the ultralight reported a mechanical issue, possibly involving fuel related mechanisms, to the Monroe County Airport tower. The airport manager says the pilot reported having low fuel pressure.

The pilot was about 7 miles from the airport when he radioed the tower. The pilot was given permission to land. The control tower asked the pilot to contact them again when he was 2 miles out. He did at 3 miles out. The control tower operators then saw a large amount of smoke and attempted to contact the pilot. There was no response.

Investigators say while the plane was approaching the airport from the north, traveling south, the plane lost altitude and crashed into a small shed and wooded area behind a home. The plane was immediately engulfed in flames.

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