NewsCovering Louisiana


Report: Plane nosedived, killed part-owner and his teacher

Posted at 8:39 PM, Feb 18, 2021

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The pilot who died in a Feb. 2 plane crash in Louisiana had just bought a share in the aircraft, and the other man killed in the crash was his instructor, the National Transportation Safety Board reported Thursday.

Louisiana authorities had identified the pilot earlier as Richard Don Clements and his instructor as Rock Palermo. Palermo was an attorney for the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office, they said.

The Cessna 182 was destroyed when it crashed straight down onto an island northeast of Hackberry in Cameron Parish and sank 15 feet (4.6 meters) down into the soft soil, the NTSB preliminary report said.

The report said two of the propeller's three blades were on the hub at the nose of the plane, but the third was not found.

It gave a number of details about the circumstances of the flight but did not indicate what caused the crash. Probable causes are generally given in final reports, which can take a year or more.

Another partial owner of the plane told investigators that the pilot had just bought a share of the aircraft and was accumulating flight hours to get rated for complex and high-performance planes, according to the report. That person told investigators he was in the back seat during a training flight on Feb. 1, and the man had done well on flight maneuvers.

The sales broker for the plane told investigators that on the day of the crash, the pilot reported completing a one-hour flight to meet insurance policy requirements.

The report did not identify any witnesses by name.

Records show that the day's first flight ended about 2:36 p.m. The plane took off again about 5:13 p.m. and crashed about a half-hour later.

Two witnesses told investigators that the plane plunged nose-down, without any rotation.

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