Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Cessna 172R Skyhawk, Windsor Flying Club, C-GRJH: Accident occurred October 29, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee

NTSB Identification: ERA14FA027 
14 CFR Non-U.S., Non-Commercial
Accident occurred Tuesday, October 29, 2013 in Nashville, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/17/2015
Aircraft: CESSNA 172R, registration: C-GRJH
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The noninstrument-rated pilot rented the airplane in Canada and filed a visual flight rules flight plan for a cross-country flight to a destination in Canada; the flight had not been approved to leave Canada. The flight plan was subsequently closed; the investigation could not determine the flight’s last departure point and time. The airplane wreckage was found on an airport runway in Nashville, Tennessee, the following afternoon during an airfield inspection. Postaccident examination of the airplane found no mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

A review of airport radar data indicated that the airplane entered the Nashville area at night almost 9 hours after its initial departure time and that the airplane circled the airport for about 2 hours before it crashed on the approach end of the runway. Instrument flight rules (IFR) conditions, which included horizontal visibility of 1/4 statute mile and vertical visibility of 100 ft above ground level, existed about the time of the airplane’s arrival until it crashed.

A review of the pilot’s health records, which included a mental health report provided by the pilot’s parole officer, revealed that he had a history of repeated convictions for criminal activity and that he had developed a significant interest in a celebrity who lived in Nashville. Although the medical records did not include a specific psychiatric diagnosis, the pilot’s prior criminal actions and impulsive behavior are consistent with antisocial personality disorder, which likely led to his impetuous decision to fly to Nashville. It is likely that, because of his impetuous decision, the pilot was unware of the IFR conditions in Nashville until he arrived in the area and that, because he was not instrument rated, he was unable to safely land the airplane with no visual contact with the runway.

Toxicological testing of the pilot’s blood revealed significantly elevated levels of ethanol, indicating that the pilot ingested alcohol before the accident. The alcohol likely further impaired the pilot’s judgment and his ability to fly the airplane safely in IFR conditions.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The noninstrument-rated pilot’s continued visual flight into night instrument flight rules conditions, which resulted in a collision with the runway during an attempted approach to land. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s mental state, his impairment due to alcohol, and his decision to operate the airplane from Canada to the United States without the owner’s permission and without proper clearances for the flight. 

On October 29, 2013, about 0350 central daylight time (CDT), a Cessna 172R, Canadian registration C-GRJH, owned by the Windsor Flying Club and operated by a private individual, was destroyed by a postcrash fire when it impacted the runway during a landing attempt at Nashville International Airport (BNA), Nashville, Tennessee. The private pilot was fatally injured. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The last departure point of the flight was not determined. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Canadian Air Regulations.

According to the Canadian flying club which owned the airplane, the pilot rented the airplane at Windsor Airport, Windsor, Canada on the afternoon of October 28, 2013. The pilot reported his destination as Pelee Island Airport, Pelee, Ontario. The flight departed Windsor Airport about 1800 after the pilot filed a visual flight rules flight plan. Transportation Canada reported the pilot closed his VFR flight plan about 2030. The pilot did not file any additional flight plans and a review of air traffic control information in Canada and the United States revealed no communication between air traffic control and the pilot. It could not be determined where the flight last departed and at what time.

Airport operations at BNA conducted an airfield inspection on October 29, 2013, about 0200. No airplane wreckage was observed on runway 2C. At about 0845, an airplane taxing for departure reported a piece of airplane wreckage on runway 2C. Airport operations subsequently responded and discovered the wreckage about 0900.

A review of BNA primary radar showed an airplane that arrived within the 20 nautical mile ring of BNA Class B airspace area about 0142. According to the primary radar returns, the airplane initially flew in circles near the outer northwest ring of Class B airspace before proceeding to the airport. About 0200 the airplane was observed flying in circles above runways 2L and 2C for about 5 minutes. The airplane traveled northwest again and momentarily circled a lighted tower before it returned to the airport and circled the airport for an additional 90 minutes. At 0350 the airplane was observed over the approach end of runway 2C, but did not reappear beyond the threshold.


The pilot, age 45, held a Canadian-issued private pilot certificate with ratings for single and multi-engine land. He was issued a valid third-class medical certificate on July 28, 2013. The pilot also held a Canadian radio telephone operator's certificate with qualifications for aeronautical use that was issued on January 8, 1990.

The pilot's logbook could not be located and his flight time could not be verified; however, he reported to Windsor Flying Club that he had over 100 hours of flight experience. According to the club's records, the pilot's last biennial currency flight was on October 31, 2012. The pilot accumulated about 5.6 total hours of flight time in the accident airplane in the12 months prior to the accident.


According to the Canadian Civil Aircraft Register, the accident airplane was a Cessna 172R, serial number 17280765, and was manufactured in 1999. It was powered by a Lycoming model IO-360-L2A engine, serial number L-18784-51A. The engine was rated at 160 horsepower at 2,400 rpm. The airplane was equipped with two wing fuel tanks that each held 26.5 gallons of usable 100 low lead aviation fuel. The airplane operator reported that the airplane was equipped for instrument flight under Canadian Aviation Regulations 605.18.

According to airplane records, an annual inspection was performed on the airframe and engine on September 10, 2013, at 6,045 hours total time. The airplane total time could not be determined because the Hobbs meter was burned beyond recognition.


Weather, recorded at BNA at 0153, included wind calm, one quarter statute mile visibility, runway 02L visual range between 1,200 feet and 1,400 feet, fog, vertical visibility 100 feet above ground level (agl), temperature 12 degrees C, dewpoint 11 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.28 inches Hg.
Weather, recorded at BNA at 0234, included wind calm, less than one quarter statute mile visibility, runway 02L visual range 600 feet, fog, vertical visibility 100 feet agl, temperature 12 degrees C, dewpoint 12 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.27 inches Hg.

Weather, recorded at BNA at 0253, included wind calm, less than one quarter statute mile visibility, runway 02L visual range 600 feet, fog, vertical visibility 100 feet agl, temperature 12 degrees C, dewpoint 12 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.27 inches Hg.

The following ceilings and visibilities were reported at BNA around the time of the accident. All runway visual range (RVR) values were for runway 02L. At 0353, one quarter statute mile visibility and a vertical visibility of 100 feet agl were reported. At 0453, one quarter statute mile visibility with an RVR from 800 feet and 1,200 feet, and a 100 foot vertical visibility were reported. At 0553, one quarter statute mile visibility with RVR from 800 feet and 1,000 feet and a vertical visibility of 100 feet were reported. At 0653, one quarter statute mile visibility with an RVR from 1,200 feet and 1,400 feet, and a vertical visibility of 100 feet were reported. At 0753, one eighth statute mile visibility, with an RVR from 1,000 feet and 1,600 feet, and a vertical visibility of 100 feet were reported. At 0853, one eighth statute mile visibility, with an RVR from 700 feet and 1,000 feet, and a vertical visibility of 100 feet were reported.

The National Weather Service reported an area forecast for Tennessee prior to the accident with ceilings below 1,000 feet and visibility below 3 statute miles, mist, and fog from October 28, 2013 at 2100 to October 29, 2013 at 0400.


Nashville International Airport was a tower-controlled, public-use airport equipped with four concrete runways oriented in a 13/31, 2R/20C, 2L/20L, and 2C/20C configuration. According to FAA records, runway 2C was 8,001 feet long and 150 feet wide, with high intensity runway edge lights and 1,400 foot medium intensity approach lights accompanied by runway alignment indicator lights. The runway field elevation was 569.1 feet.


The airplane wreckage came to rest about 468 feet from the runway 2C threshold at BNA and was consumed by fire. The wreckage path was about 695 feet in length and oriented on a heading of about 040 degrees magnetic. The path was marked by two gouges that resembled propeller slash marks located about 200 feet from the runway threshold. A fire signature was noted by heavy soot marks that began 220 feet after the initial impact point and continued to the main wreckage.

The engine was also located in the energy path about 150 feet past the main wreckage. Both the propeller and crankshaft flange were separated from the engine and located about 120 feet to the right of the wreckage path and 200 feet from the initial impact point. Both propeller blades exhibited bending opposite the direction of rotation, torsional twisting, leading edge abrasions and chord-wise scoring. Blade A, arbitrarily designated by investigators, exhibited heavy leading edge gouging and the eight inches of the blade tip were impact separated. The blade tip to Blade B was curled about 360 degrees.

Aileron control cable continuity was confirmed from the flight control surfaces to the cockpit controls. The rudder, elevator, and elevator trim cables were intact and control cable continuity was confirmed from the flight control surfaces to the empennage, which remained attached to the fuselage by cables. The elevator trim actuator measurement was 1.25", which corresponded to a 0 degree trim tab deflection. Flap control continuity was traced from the flaps to the flap actuator which was in the flaps retracted position.

The airplane sustained major fire damage to the fuselage, cockpit and engine compartments. Examination of the cockpit revealed no discernable instruments or retrievable data. The postcrash fire also consumed most of the fuel system.
The engine was partially disassembled at the accident site under the supervision of the NTSB Investigator. Continuity of the crankshaft was confirmed to the rear gears and the valve train when it was rotated through the vacuum pump drive and internal engine continuity was confirmed to most of the accessory drives. The cylinders were examined using a lighted borescope and no anomalies were noted.

The top spark plugs and vacuum pump were removed from the engine and valve movement, thumb compression, and suction were observed at each of the four cylinders. The upper spark plug electrodes were normal in color and wear; the bottom spark plugs were impact damaged or obstructed by the crushed exhaust tubes. The upper vacuum pump remained attached to the engine and its drive coupling, carbon rotor and carbon vanes were all intact. The lower pump was impact separated and the carbon rotor was fractured; however, the carbon vanes remained intact. Both magnetos were found at the accident site; the left magneto was partially separated from the engine and could not be operated by hand. The right magneto had separated from the engine and produced spark at all leads when rotated by hand.


An autopsy was performed on the pilot by the Tennessee Department of Health, Nashville, Tennessee, on October 29, 2013. The cause of death was listed as "multiple blunt force and thermal injuries." The blood carboxyhemoglobin concentration was 1.3% and not indicative of smoke inhalation during a fire.

Toxicological testing was conducted by the State of Tennessee by NMS laboratories, which detected ethanol in the chest blood at 0.081 grams/deciliter (g/dL) and vitreous at 0.120 g/dL. Further toxicological testing performed by the FAA's Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma detected ethanol in samples of muscle (0.098 g/dL), lung (0.082 g/dL), heart (0.076 g/dL), cavity blood (0.064 g/dL), liver (0.055 g/dL) and brain tissue (0.043 g/dL). Federal Aviation Regulations prohibit operation of aircraft with a blood alcohol/ethanol level greater than 0.040 gm/dL. Toxicological testing found no evidence of putrefaction.

The NTSB Medical Officer reviewed the FAA Medical Case Review, toxicology results, autopsy report and health records that included a statement and mental health report provided by the pilot's parole officer. The pilot's Canadian medical records were not available for review. The parole report indicated a history of repeated convictions for criminal activity. During the pilot's mental health evaluation in August 2012, he reported that he had developed a significant interest in a celebrity and had written several letters to her. According to the mental health evaluator, the letters "have the flavor of stalking." The celebrity of interest resided in Nashville, Tennessee at the time of the accident.

NTSB Identification: ERA14FA027
14 CFR Non-U.S., Non-Commercial
Accident occurred Tuesday, October 29, 2013 in Nashville, TN
Aircraft: CESSNA 172F, registration: C-GRJH
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On October 29, 2013, between about 0200 and 0845 central daylight time (CDT), a Cessna 172F, Canadian registration C-GRJH, owned by the Windsor Flying Club and operated by a private individual, was destroyed when it impacted runway 2C while attempting a landing at the Nashville International Airport (BNA), Nashville, Tennessee. The private pilot was fatally injured. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at BNA from about 1045 on October 28, 2013, to about 1100 on October 29, 2013. The flight originated at Windsor Airport (CYQG), Windsor, Ontario, Canada, and a visual flight rules flight plan was filed which listed the destination airport as Pelee Island Airport (CYPT), Pelee, Ontario, Canada.

According to the flying club’s manager, the pilot signed the flying club’s authorization sheet with his destination listed as CYPT. Transportation Canada reported the pilot closed his flight plan about 2030. The pilot did not file any additional flight plans and a preliminary review of air traffic control information provided by the Federal Aviation Administration revealed no communication between air traffic control and the pilot.

Airport operations personnel at BNA reported conducting an airfield inspection about 0200, with nothing unusual noted on runway 2C. At about 0845, an airplane taxing for departure reported a piece of what appeared to be an engine cowling on runway 2C. Airport operations personnel responded and discovered the wreckage of C-GRJH. The airplane impacted runway 2C on approximately a 040 degrees magnetic heading and skidded about 450 feet before coming to a stop east of the runway. A fire signature started about 220 feet after the initial impact point and continued to the main wreckage. All flight control surfaces were accounted for at the scene and continuity was confirmed. The airplane came to rest upright and the cabin and cockpit were consumed by fire. The propeller assembly was found about 400 feet from the initial impact point. Both propeller blades exhibited impact damage with chordwise scratching and one of the blades exhibited tip curling. The engine was located about 700 feet from the initial impact point.

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -  Federal investigators are reviewing air traffic control and radar recordings at Nashville International Airport, trying to solve the mystery surrounding the crash of a plane early Tuesday from Canada.

The pilot, Michael Callan, died instantly, officials said, but the plane's wreckage sat undetected for several hours in thick fog.

Callan, a 45-year-old man from Windsor, Ontario, has the same name and date of birth as a man with a checkered past, including arrests for bank robbery and viewing pornography in public.

The Windsor Star newspaper reported a man with the same name allegedly committed violent bank robberies and viewed porn in a bookstore and on a public bus.

And a Michael Callan was also facing charges in Canada following a child pornography crackdown.

The pilot had several years of flying experience but should not, based on his qualifications, have been flying in fog at night.

Channel 4 also reviewed the air traffic control recordings and discovered a small, but potentially significant, few seconds of tape from the time investigators believe the plane went down.

"Nashville approach, say again, weak and unreadable," an air traffic controller says.

It was apparently the only communication during the approximate time around the plane crash.

The NTSB would not confirm those few seconds as related to the crash.

The full report on what went wrong could take at least six months to complete, but investigators are expected to release some preliminary findings next week.

Source:   http://www.wsmv.com

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The pilot killed in the crash at Nashville International Airport Tuesday has been identified as 45-year-old Michael Callan from Windsor, Ontario in Canada.

According to authorities, the plane that crashed had been scheduled to land in Canada on Monday evening, but investigators aren't sure how it ended up in Nashville.

Officials said Callan's body was thrown about six feet from the aircraft and was badly burned. Police recovered a wallet which helped them with the identification.

NewsChannel 5 spoke to Callan's sister, Jody Quenneville, by phone from her home in Ontario Wednesday.

"He was an aspiring pilot who loved to fly. We only just learned from authorities that he died. He was the youngest brother of four children. He was not married and had no children of his own," said Quenneville. She said the family has no idea how he ended up in Nashville, and that they're in a state of shock.

The Cessna 172 single-engine plane crashed sometime in the early-morning hours after 3 a.m. CDT on Tuesday. But the crash apparently wasn't reported until a pilot in another plane saw the wreckage around 8:45 a.m.

National Transportation Safety Board air safety investigator Jay Neylon told reporters at a news conference on Wednesday that fog was very dense around that time, "and that's one thing we will look at closely."

He said investigators plan to listen to air traffic control tapes to determine whether there was any communication between the control tower and the pilot, who was the only one aboard the plane and has not been identified.

The Cessna-172R Skyhawk, which was built in 1999 and had four seats, had been scheduled to land at Pelee Island Airport in Ontario, Canada, on Monday night, but Neylon said it was unclear if the plane actually landed there. The NTSB planned to contact the airport to find out.

He said that representatives from Cessna would examine the wreckage to determine if there was a malfunction with the plane or engine.

In a statement released Wednesday, Windsor Flying Club President David Gillies said the club had "been training pilots and renting airplanes since 1944. We have never experienced an accident of this magnitude in our 69 year history."

The runway remained closed Wednesday morning as NTSB and FAA investigators collected "perishable evidence" and continued their investigation.

NewsChannel 5 also uncovered that a Michael Callan of the same age and date of birth was arrested last year in Windsor in connection with one of the largest child pornography busts in Canadian history. We are waiting to hear from Canadian authorities on that part of the story.

Story, Photo Gallery and Video:   http://www.newschannel5.com

NTSB looks at 7-hour window in Nashville plane crash probe 

  • Investigator says plane crashed some time after 2 a.m., wasn't noticed until 8:45 a.m.
  • Pilot may not have been in contact with control tower
  • NTSB: Single-engine Cessna crashed unnoticed at Nashville International Airport
  • There was a dense fog the night of the crash, but investigators unsure if it was factor

(CNN) -- The crash of a small plane in Nashville appears to be a familiar story: A pilot not authorized to fly in foul weather meanders into a foggy soup and tries to land.

Things go wrong. The plane crashes. The pilot is killed.

But in other respects, Tuesday's crash is anything but ordinary. The doomed Canadian pilot flies to a major airport apparently without radioing controllers. And when the plane crashes just off a main runway, erupting in fire, the crash goes undetected.

By anyone. Likely for hours.

On Wednesday, the National Transportation Safety Board painted some broad outlines to an accident picture that is begging for specific details.

NTSB investigator Jay Neylon said the NTSB is focusing on a seven-hour window in which the Cessna 172R crashed along runway 2C at Nashville International Airport.

The crash, he said, occurred sometime between 2 a.m. -- when an airport worker conducted a routine runway check -- and 8:45 a.m. -- when a taxiing aircraft reported seeing "debris on the runway." Rescue workers were dispatched and found the plane's sole occupant dead amid the fire-scarred wreckage.

"At this point we have no idea the exact time (of the crash)," Neylon said.

Neylon said the safety board had not yet determined whether the pilot attempted to contact air traffic controllers.

"We will look at everything in the investigation, and that does include air traffic control," he said.

The pilot has been positively identified, but the Davidson County Medical Examiner's Office would not release the name Wednesday night, pending notification of next of kin. But the Ontario-based flying club which owns the plane identified him as a club member who rented the plane and planned to return it the next day.

The accident is "certainly a little unusual, to say the least," said Bruce Landsberg, president of the AOPA Foundation and Air Safety Institute.

"To have an airplane, even a small airplane, crash at a major airport and go unnoticed for quite a while does seem unusual," said Tom Haueter, former director of the NTSB's Office of Accident Investigation.

Both men say the dense fog, which may have contributed to the crash, likely prevented controllers from seeing the incident. The control tower is roughly one mile from the end of Runway 2C, the crash site.

But they said the crash raises intriguing questions about the actions of the pilot and controllers.

"My biggest question is Why? Why was the pilot there? Why wasn't he talking to anybody?" said Landsberg. Aircraft are required to communicate with controllers when entering controlled airspace.

Haueter echoed that thought.

"Whether it's day or night, when you're approaching an airport of this size and density, you have to start contacting controllers well in advance, usually from about 25 miles out... to let them know you're arriving," Haueter said.

If the pilot was unfamiliar with Nashville airport's frequencies, he could have used a universal frequency to contact controllers, Landsberg said.

Both men speculated that the pilot could have strayed into foul weather and been too preoccupied with flying the plane to contact the tower.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the tower had normal staffing early Tuesday, but it declined to specify the number of controllers on duty.

Landsberg and Haueter said the accident also raises questions about the air traffic controllers.

"How did the airplane get to the airport without the controller saying, 'Hey what is this guy doing out there?'" Landsberg said.

Said Haueter: "Certainly this is an airport that has very good facilities. It has radar; it has lots of capabilities and how an aircraft could approach, possibly circle, we're hearing, then crash short of the runway, unnoticed for so long, does raise some questions."

David Gillies, president of Windsor Flying Club which owns the Cessna, said the pilot, who was unaccompanied, rented the club plane for an overnight trip. "It is not usual for this individual to rent an airplane overnight," he said.

The pilot was certified to fly under "visual flight rules," allowing him to fly in fair weather, and was qualified to fly at night. But the pilot did not have an instrument rating allowing him to fly into weather systems, Gillies said.

Gillies said Nashville airport officials told him the pilot "circled" over the airport "for some time" and that the plane crashed while trying to land about 2:30 a.m. "They've indicated to us that they have tapes of him circling and that the time of his demise was about 2:30," he said.

Airport officials have declined to discuss the accident in detail, citing the NTSB investigation.

The Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority, in a statement, said "the time of the crash has not been determined and reports to the contrary are not factual. These facts will be determined as part of the NTSB investigation."

On Wednesday, the NTSB surveyed the crash site, investigator Neylon said. He plans to examine air traffic control tapes and radar soon. And the NTSB will examine the pilot's flight records and interview his instructors.

The investigation, Neylon said, is in the early stages, and it may take a year before the board determines a probable cause.

Asked whether this wreck was anomalous, Neylon said, "Every accident's unusual."

Story, Video and Comments/Reaction:  http://www.cnn.com




More details emerge on Nashville plane crash - Wreckage sat by Nashville runway for hours, pilot killed
Investigators are still working to piece together details surrounding a puzzling plane crash that killed a Canadian pilot at Nashville International Airport early Tuesday morning.

The wreckage of the single-engine Cessna was discovered on a runway by a taxiing plane at about 8:45 a.m., several hours after authorities believe the accident took place.

The pilot, a man in his mid-40s who has not been identified, came to Nashville without logging a flight plan. It remains unclear if he had communicated with officials here.

“At this point we’re still examining the air traffic control tapes and radar to determine if there was any communication between the aircraft and the control tower,” said Jay Neylon, an investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board.

The airport did a sweep of the runway at about 2 a.m. and did not find any debris, Neylon said. The exact timing of the fiery crash is still unknown.

The pilot had rented the plane Monday from Windsor Flying Club in Ontario, according to club president David Gillies. He had filed plans to fly to Pelee Island on Lake Erie, a route he had flown multiple times.

Gillies said the man notified authorities when he landed on the island hours before the crash, but did not mention another trip.

“There are so many uncertainties surrounding this occurrence,” Gillies said. “I have no idea what flight plan he made.”

Planes land and take off at Nashville’s airport around the clock, according to spokeswoman Emily Richard. Pilots are not always required to log official flight plans.

Airport officials did not answer questions about the crash or the discovery of the wreckage, citing the ongoing investigation.

Richard said the Federal Aviation Administration staffs and regulates air traffic control, and referred questions about Nashville’s control tower staffing to the FAA.

The pilot had been a licensed flyer since 1989, and had been a club member for many years.

“From our records we see that he was legally flying the airplane,” Gillies said.

Gillies said the club was working with Canadian authorities to locate the man’s family before releasing his name.

“We’re all pretty broken up about having lost a fellow flyer,” he said.

In a statement, the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority called safety and security the airport's top priority.

“As an FAA certificated airport, MNAA is required to comply with the FAA’s safety standards. MNAA has long maintained a strong record of safety and follows stringent federal safety regulations," the statement read. "We uphold these regulations every day, including yesterday. We have inspectors and crash, fire and rescue personnel on duty 24 hours per day, 365 days per year to respond in the event of any emergency.

“MNAA is working collaboratively with the FAA and NTSB as they investigate the accident and determine the facts. It would be premature to comment about any facts involving this accident until the NTSB completes its investigation."

Reported earlier

The plane that crashed onto one of Nashville International Airport’s runways Tuesday likely sat there for hours before another taxiing plane discovered the wreckage, an official said.

The small, single-engine Cessna-172 crashed sometime after 3 a.m., killing the pilot, according to National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Peter Knudson. The crash was reported to Nashville emergency crews shortly after 9 a.m.

An NTSB investigator was dispatched to Nashville on Tuesday to probe the crash further.

“We will want to understand what the circumstances were that caused it to go undiscovered for so long,” Knudson said.

The plane was registered in Canada to the Windsor Flying Club in Ontario. An official from the group declined to comment about the incident.

Airport emergency personnel, Metro Police, Metro Fire and Metro OEM responded to the accident. The Davidson County Medical Examiner would not comment on the crash victim’s identity.

The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed it had responded to the crash, but would not divulge any more details Tuesday.

“The FAA is investigating,” a prepared statement read. “The FAA does not have any further information at this time.”

Runway 2 Center was shuttered as crews responded to the crash. Three other runways remained open and operational.

There were no delays to commercial flights Tuesday, and travelers navigated the terminal normally.

Story, Videos, Photo and Comments/Reaction:  http://www.tennessean.com

(CNN) -- Authorities struggled to explain how a small plane crashed at an international airport, erupted in fire, but evidently went unnoticed for hours.

The incident occurred early Tuesday in Nashville.

But exactly what time remains a mystery.

The single-engine Cessna evidently crashed sometime after 3 a.m. local time, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

But it wasn't noticed until well after sunrise when another plane, taxiing for take-off, saw an engine cover on the edge of runway 2C -- the middle of three parallel runways.

Controllers contacted airport personnel, who found the fire-scarred wreckage. The plane's sole occupant was dead, officials said.

The airport's control tower is staffed 24 hours a day, the Federal Aviation Administration told CNN. But it was not immediately clear how many controllers were in the tower during the overnight shift.

An FAA spokesman said there was low visibility overnight and fog.

Another FAA spokesman said it was not known whether the plane had been in contact with controllers, or if it had made a distress call.

The agency declined to answer questions, saying the matter was under investigation.

Airport officials released scant information about the crash.

Airport spokeswoman Shannon Sumrall referred all questions to the NTSB.

The board spokesman, Peter Knudson, said the aircraft suffered a post-crash fire and the cause of the crash is under investigation.

The FAA said the plane was registered in Canada. The name of the victim was not released.

Story and Comments/Reaction:  http://www.cnn.com