Cessna plane downed by \"unknown object\"

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Cessna plane downed by "unknown object"

There can't be many "unknown objects" floating around at 3000 feet that no one noticed.

Note that the pilot was not hit by a missile or such like as he tried to change course. And that unexpected aluminium was found embedded in the plane.

Also it seemed unusual that the engine block was split in two.

Possibly a flying block of concrete, or a military drone?

Also interesting are the catalogue of errors sorounding the incident, including the non working radar. Makes you wonder if there isn't a cover-up happening...

More here... http://www.abovetopsecret.c...


NTSB: Unknown object downed Cessna in swamp near Mobile

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) -- Federal investigators said a single-engine plane hit an "unknown object" at 3,000 feet before it crashed in a swampy area near Mobile on Oct. 23, 2002, killing a veteran pilot.

The pilot, Thomas J. Preziose, 54, of Mobile, had reported spotting a FedEx DC-10 near his flight. But the National Transportation Safety Board's investigation found the FedEx aircraft wasn't damaged and the object that hit the small plane remains a mystery.

In a report this week, the NTSB said there were unidentified red marks on the severely damaged nose and front belly of the crashed Cessna, but tests failed to find the source of the red streaks.

The crash occurred minutes after Preziose took off from Downtown Airport to deliver business documents to Montgomery.

NTSB spokesman Keith Holloway told the Mobile Register that agency officials "don't know of any other accident that we have in our files that states 'collision with an unknown object.'"

A final NTSB analysis on the crash is expected within a few months, said Holloway.

"It's just a great thing that this kind of thing didn't happen to an airliner with a bunch of people on it," said Don Godwin, a veteran pilot and chief executive officer of Mid-Atlantic Freight, which owned the plane.

Preziose was working for Mid-Atlantic Freight, under contract with the delivery company DHL Worldwide Express, and had flown the same route numerous times.

The NTSB report also notes that malfunctioning radar recording equipment hampered efforts to determine the exact cause of the accident.

An air traffic controller at Mobile Regional Airport apparently gave incorrect positions to Preziose about the location of a DC-10 in the area, according to the report.

A Federal Aviation Administration official at Mobile Regional Airport said Tuesday he wasn't aware of any equipment malfunctions.

The report says the Mobile Regional controller alerted Preziose, flying at 3,000 feet, to the presence of the DC-10, which was seven miles straight in front of him, flying at 4,000 feet. Preziose acknowledged it.

A minute later, the controller told Preziose the DC-10 had crossed the smaller plane's path and remained at 4,000 feet, the report says.

"Roger, I got him above me right now," Preziose replied, apparently confirming he saw the FedEx plane.

But seconds later, the report states, he came back on the air: "I needed to deviate, I needed to deviate, I needed to deviate, I needed ."

Based on the limited radar information they could find, investigators concluded the Cessna never crossed paths with the DC-10, contrary to what the air traffic controller told Preziose, the report states. When the DC-10 was said to be crossing his path, it was still about two miles away, the report says.

Mobile lawyer Greg Breedlove said his firm has been retained by Preziose's family and is examining several possibilities, including that the Cessna simply got caught in turbulence caused by the FedEx plane.

The Cessna wreckage was found in shallow waters about a mile north of the Mobile Causeway. Its Pratt & Whitney engine block was split in two, the report states.

"That's a big deal," said Goodwin, who believes the Cessna was shattered by the collision in flight. "That airplane could fall out of the sky and hit concrete and it's unlikely it would've broken the engine in half like that."

Along with failing to find the source of the red streaks, investigators also were unable to identify the source of "a small piece of what appeared to be black anodized aluminum, which was found embedded in the left wing" near the fuselage, the report states.
By netchicken: posted on 15-4-2004

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