NTSB: Speed likely cause of Byron plane crash

Associated PressDecember 14, 2012 

BYRON -- A new report from the National Transportation Safety Board found the likely cause of a deadly plane crash in Peach County to be high speed, which caused the airplane to break apart in flight.

The NTSB report released this week found the probable cause of the accident was speed above what is recommended for the Hawker Beechcraft BE35, which crashed in July 2011 in Peach County. The pilot, Robert Pelissier, 44, of Macon, was killed in the crash. A certified pilot, Pelissier had 400 hours of flight time, the report shows.

Radar data showed the plane descending for the Perry-Houston County Airport at a ground speed of 180 knots and then 178 knots before contact was lost. The never-exceed speed for the plane was 176 knots, according to the report.

The plane, which was coming from Danville, Ky., crashed in the Autumn Cove subdivision in Byron. No one on the ground was injured.

The NTSB report said witnesses working in a nearby field said they heard a loud “popping” sound. They looked up and saw the plane and what looked like a wing separating from it. They told investigators that the plane then began to spin before crashing into the ground.

Telegraph writer Jennifer Burk contributed to this report. Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report.

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