UPDATE: The National Transportation Safety Board held a press conference Friday afternoon (Aug. 16) to discuss its initial findings in the accident investigation. After detailing where the flight originated and the weather during in the area at the time of the accident, NTSB senior investigator Ralph Hicks shared details about the crash.
“We were able to obtain surveillance video from buildings around the area that include footage of the accident happening,” Hicks explained. “The airplane basically bounced at least twice before coming down hard on the right main landing gear. You can actually see the right main landing gear collapsing in the video.
“The airplane continued down the runway off to the end, through a fence and it came to a stop behind me here on Highway 91.”
Hicks shared details about the Cessna Citation Latitude 680, its capacity and that it’s registered to JRM Air, LLC.
“We’re going to be on scene for two or three days documenting the perishable evidence on site,” he continued. “Then we’re going to start going into the cockpit, into the fuselage, starting to cut the airplane up and document all the flight controls, the engine controls, taking a look at all the systems very methodically.”
Hicks went on to share details about the airport itself, skid marks the NTSB
The plane was equipped with a cockpit voice recorder, though it did not have a flight data recorder. The NTSB will have its full report published in approximately seven days, which will “give basic factual information” from its findings.
“We don’t draw any conclusions at this time,” Hicks said. “This is a fact-finding phase of the investigation only.”
Additionally, Hicks said the surveillance video will “eventually” be released to the public. He went on to explain that the NTSB will use flight data information from the equipment on board in an attempt to determine exactly what happened in the incident.
Original Post: A private plane carrying former driver and current NASCAR on NBC broadcaster Dale Earnhardt Jr. was involved in a plane crash at a small airport in eastern Tennessee.
The two-time Daytona 500 winner, along with his wife and daughter, were taken to the Johnson City Medical Center after the Cessna Citation carrying the Earnhardts crashed at the Elizabethton Municipal Airport in Carter County, Tenn., approximately 15 miles southeast of Bristol Motor Speedway.
I can confirm Dale, Amy & Isla along with his two pilots were involved in a crash in Bristol TN this afternoon. Everyone is safe and has been taken to the hospital for further evaluation. We have no further information at this time. Thank you for your understanding.
— Kelley Earnhardt (@EarnhardtKelley) August 15, 2019
All occupants of the plane left the scene without serious injury, according to Earnhardt Jr.’s sister Kelly Earnhardt Miller. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the plane rolled off the end of a runway shortly after landing and subsequently caught fire. There was not an early indication of the potential cause of the accident.
Elizabethton Fire Chief Barry Carrier tells CNN affiliate @WJHL11 that @DaleJr & his wife @AmyEarnhardt were on the plane that crashed at the Elizabethton Airport this afternoon. They are reportedly uninjured
The FAA released the following statement to CNN on the crash: pic.twitter.com/gKsBzTvl9J
— Dianne Gallagher (@DianneG) August 15, 2019
Earnhardt Jr. had been slated to call the Food City 300 Xfinity series event (Aug. 16), along with the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race (Aug. 17) for NBC Sports, but he will sit out this weekend to spend time with his family.