ESPERANCE, N.Y. (AP) — Federal investigators say overloading and failure to account for thinner air were likely factors in the fatal crash of a single-engine aircraft in upstate New York in 2016.
The National Transportation Safety Board says the Piper Klein was 66 pounds (30 kilograms) over its maximum takeoff weight when the plane departed July 16, 2016, from a small airport in rural Esperance.
The NTSB says the plane was airborne for just a few moments before it crashed into the woods near the end of the runway.
Killed were Andrew “Mike” Mydlarz and his wife, Susanne Hilgefort, both of Stamford, Connecticut, and Lisa Marie Quinn of New York City.
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The pilot was severely injured but survived.
NTSB investigators say thinner air due to the weather conditions also played a role in the crash by decreasing the airplane’s lift.