TOWANDA, PA (WENY) - The National Transportation Safety Board has released a preliminary report on a fatal plane crash in Bradford County.
Scott Wilcox was flying a CH601XLi, special light sport airplane, that crashed about 3 miles from the Bradford County airport on July 19th. According to the NTSB, Wilcox held a student pilot certificate.
The report says several witnesses reported Wilcox was practicing touch-and-go landings on one of the runways. According to the report, witnesses say the engine appeared to be producing partial power after the second landing. According to witnesses, the nose of the plane dipped three times during the climb.
Shortly after, Wilcox made a radio call and declared an emergency. According to the report, Wilcox said he was trying to make it back to the airport. Witnesses say the plane made a turn back toward the airport, then the left wing quickly dropped and the airplane plunged to the ground. See below for a description of the crash scene.
The Bradford County Coroner's Office said the cause of death was related to the crash and not related to a medical condition.
The NTSB says the most recent condition inspection on the plane was September 16th, 2016.
A final report from the NTSB won't be released for about a year.
NTSB traveled to the accident site. According to investigators, all major components of the plane were accounted for at the scene.
They say the wreckage indicated the airplane struck steep, wooded terrain at an inverted position. The forward fuselage, cockpit, and instrumentation were consumed by fire after impact with the ground. Both wings were separated from the fuselage. The tail of the plane was separated from the fuselage. According to the NTSB, the ballistic parachute system was partially deployed. The parachute was found midway up a 75-ft tall tree about 50 feet from the wreckage.
The airplane was recovered to a secure facility and retained by the NTSB.