Preliminary findings released in fatal West Virginia plane crash

Crews responded to reports of an aircraft down near Delaney Lane Monday afternoon. | Photo: WDTV
Crews responded to reports of an aircraft down near Delaney Lane Monday afternoon. | Photo: WDTV(WHSV)
Published: Feb. 13, 2020 at 5:15 PM EST
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UPDATE (Feb. 13):

A pilot killed in the crash of a small plane he had just purchased did not receive a weather briefing or file flight plans before his aircraft went down in northern West Virginia, according to a preliminary report released Thursday.

West Virginia State Police and the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office had previously identified the pilot as Dr. Thomas Kaye, a 67-year-old neurosurgeon from Haydenville, Massachusetts.

Kaye was the only person aboard the plane, which crashed and caught on fire Jan. 27 in woods in an unincorporated area between Fairmont and Grafton, State Police Sgt. Robert Garrison said.

The seller indicated Kaye arrived on Jan. 25 at an airport in Bloomfield, Indiana, to pick up the new two-seat plane and had completed several weekend training flights with an instructor before leaving on Jan. 27, the National Transportation Safety Board said in its report.

Kaye was flying from Indiana to his Massachusetts home and had stopped for refueling at the North Central West Virginia Airport near Bridgeport, said National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Peter Knudson.

A flight service provider indicated there was no record that Kaye received a weather briefing or filed flight plans on the day of the accident. There also was no flight plan filed for the flight that originated the West Virginia airport, the NTSB said.

The report cited a first responder who indicated visibility at the time was not an issue.


UPDATE (Jan. 29):

The pilot killed in Monday's plane crash in Taylor County, West Virginia, has been identified by West Virginia State Police.

Thomas Kaye, 67, of Haydenville, Massachusetts, was flying from Indiana to Massachusetts, investigators say. He stopped at North Central West Virginia Airport to refuel shortly before crashing.

An NTSB spokesperson told WDTV investigators haven't found any witnesses to the crash, which was in a rural, wooded part of West Virginia.

The debris field was “highly fragmented," Knudson said. The plane was an experimental Aeropro A220. Kaye did not send out a distress signal before crashing and didn't have air traffic control services like flight following, investigators learned.

NTSB crash investigators are expected to remain at the crash site until sometime Wednesday. A preliminary crash report could be finalized within one to two weeks, but the official investigation could take 12-24 months to complete.

Investigators want to talk to anyone who may have saw the plane crash. They should contact if they have information that could help the investigation.



One person was killed in a plane crash in northern West Virginia on Monday afternoon.

According to Harrison County 911 officials, calls came in for a small plane that went down in an unincorporated area between Grafton and Fairmont, near Delaney Lane, just before 1 p.m.

Crews told WHSV's sister station, WDTV, that it was a single engine aircraft.

First responders cleared the scene by the evening, with West Virginia State Police investigating the crash.

The victim's body will be sent to the medical examiner for positive identification.

911 officials said Grafton Fire Department, Taylor County EMS and West Virginia State Police responded to the scene.


Authorities are investigating reports of a small airplane going down in northern West Virginia.

State Police spokeswoman Shallon Oglesby told The Exponent Telegram that units were headed to the scene, which was in an unincorporated area between Grafton and Fairmont. No further information on the aircraft was immediately available.

West Virginia State Police told WDTV that they secured the area of the downed aircraft and will be taking over investigation from local officials who first responded.

Homeland Security is also on scene flying a drone to get video of the site.

According to WDTV, a medical examiner is on scene as well, but no information was provided on possible injuries.

The incident was reported to the emergency services office for Harrison and Taylor counties around 1 p.m. Monday.

Emergency crews from Taylor County and the city of Grafton were responding.

911 officials said Grafton Fire Department, Taylor County EMS and West Virginia State Police responded to the scene.

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