NTSB Issues Preliminary Report on Plane Crash Involving Sculls

May 29, 2020 - The National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) has issued the results of a preliminary crash investigation relating to the May 20, 2020 crash which took the lives of John and Carolyn Scull.

Although the information is detailed, it doesn't provide a conclusive determination of the cause of the incident.

According to the NTSB report, on May 20, 2020, about 4:40 central daylight time (CDT), a Cessna T206N airplane, N51610, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Center. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal cross-country flight.

According to preliminary information, the airplane departed from the Astronaut Kent Rominger Airport (RCV), Del Norte, Colorado about 9:20am mountain daylight time. The flight had stopped at the Gainesville Municipal Airport (GLE), Gainesville, Texas, and the pilot purchased 65 gallons of fuel. The flight departed GLE about 2:40 CDT and was performing a visual landing at Center Municipal Airport (F17), Center, Texas.

Eyewitnesses saw the airplane approach runway 35 and heard the airplane's engine noise as the airplane did a go-around or aborted the landing. The next time the witnesses saw the airplane it was in a south of the runway in a vertical nose-low attitude just before the airplane impacted the ground.

The wreckage was located in a wooded area, south of runway 35. Impact signatures were consistent with a near vertical impact angle. There was no postimpact fire. All major flight control surfaces were accounted for at the accident site. The engine was driven into the ground approximately 5 feet.

Preliminary weather information for the accident flight was collected. A sounding model showed the potential for a broken to overcast layer of clouds at 1,500 ft above ground level. The nearest aviation weather reporting facility located 22 nautical miles from the accident reported a broken ceiling at 1,300 ft. Infrared satellite imagery showed a layer of low stratiform clouds over the accident site with cloud tops near 3,000 ft.

The wreckage was recovered and retained for further examination.