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Preliminary Report: No mechanical problems reported in fatal plane crash

Updated: Dec. 9, 2020 at 9:11 PM CST
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IZARD COUNTY, Ark. (KAIT/KARK) - The National Transportation Safety Board released a preliminary report in a Nov. 30 fatal plane crash showing no mechanical problems with the plane.

Chief Deputy Charles Melton with the sheriff’s office told Region 8 News that 70-year-old David Rottman of Lonoke and 44-year-old Lucas Parker of Conway died in the crash near Franklin.

The report shows the Piper PA-38-112 owned by the Arkansas Pilot Development in Lonoke, left Country Air Estates Airport in Lonoke and flew to Carlisle Municipal Airport.

The plane left Carlisle around 10 a.m., flying toward Marion County Regional Airport in Flippin and Baxter County Airport in Mountain Home, never landing before heading to the east toward the Walnut Ridge Regional Airport.

The plane made contact with the Memphis Air Route Traffic Control Center and got instrument flight rules clearance from Mountain Home to Walnut Ridge.

Air traffic control was able to get radar contact and voice communication with the flight before losing contact and communication with the plane.

The report notes the plane did not follow the flight plane from Mountain Home and Walnut Ridge and flew further south while making “3-3/4 complete left turns of varying radius, followed by 1-1/4 complete right turns” before the data stopped recording.

The plane crashed just before 12:15 p.m. on Nov. 30.

Emergency crews found the wreckage in a wooded area about 75 yards north of California Drive.

Donald Warren spoke out about his friends being killed in the crash.

Our content partner, KARK, spoke with Warren, who was “devastated” by the news.

“I know that Luke was an extremely safe pilot and I know that Dave was an extremely confident instructor,” Warren said.

Warren says that Rottman was a flight instructor who owned and operated Arkansas Pilot Development, and Parker was an experienced pilot close to finishing his next level of training.

The National Transportation Safety Board and Arkansas State Police have taken over the investigation.

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