A routine check of public records by KCBD NewsChannel 11 reveals updates into the NTSB investigations of two deadly South Plains aviation accidents.
Dickens County Plane Crash
On December 1st, the National Transportation Safety Board issued a final report on the cause of a March 27th plane crash in Dickens County. The crash took the life of the pilot -- Lubbock Firefighter, Jake Jenkins -- and his parents.
Jenkins took off in low visibility and officials at the time thought he immediately turned around to try and land. However, the plane crashed a little more than one mile away from the airport.
Some pilots are rated for VFR or visual flight rules. Other pilots are rated to fly in limited visibility which is called IFR or instrument flight rules. Jenkins was not rated for IFR.
The updated report says the probable cause of the crash was, "The non-instrument rated pilot's decision to fly in night instrument meteorological conditions."
Garza County Helicopter Crash
On October 16th, the NTSB issued a final report into the November 14, 2010 helicopter crash that took the life of the pilot, Paul Beach.
Beach was taking another man up in a test as part of his attempt to sell the helicopter. It hovered close to the ground on takeoff then suddenly overturned and crashed.
The updated report says the helicopter was overweight and off balance. It says the probable cause was, "The pilot's decision to operate the helicopter over the maximum gross weight and forward of the recommended center of gravity."
Levelland Plane Crash
As for a deadly crash at the Levelland Municipal Airport on February 17, the NTSB has only issued a preliminary report. Pilot Gery Franklin and front-seat passenger Daniel Lopez died in the crash. Franklin was doing "touch & go" landings at the time of the crash.
The preliminary report did not state the cause of the accident. KCBD NewsChannel 11 is waiting for the final report.
Copyright 2012 KCBD NewsChannel 11.