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Tags: plane crash | pilot | pennsylvania | ntsb

NTSB: Pilot Exited Plane Before Fatal Crash in Pa.

By    |   Tuesday, 16 April 2024 11:43 AM EDT

As his airplane was moments from hitting the ground, a pilot unbuckled his seatbelt and flew out of the aircraft, according to a National Transportation Safety Board report of a fatal crash in Pennsylvania in October 2022.

The Bearhawk Patrol plane crash in Hanover Township on Oct. 29, 2022 killed two people, the pilot, identified in media reports as Ronald Snyder, 76, and a passenger, identified in media reports as Michael Bowen, 59. Several minutes into the flight, the aircraft began to level off and witnesses reported the airplane "rolled" and then "bucked," according to the report.

Witnesses said they saw Snyder out of the airplane and then saw him spiral off the airplane's tail before the plane descended into the ground, according to the report.

Snyder and his passenger had departed Farmers Pride Airport in Lebanon County earlier that day and then flew to Hazelton Regional Airport before arriving in Wilkes-Barre Wyoming Valley Airport.

At the airport in Wilkes-Barre, Snyder told a friend the airplane had a rigging issue that caused the airplane to "kick" laterally during turns. His friend performed a 10-minute flight and reported an odd yawing moment while performing turns, but the pilot said he would address the issue "this winter," according to the report. Snyder was due to fly back to Farmers Pride Airport.

While the NTSB's report could not determine why he exited the plane, they believe Snyder could have fallen out while attempting to observe the tail section, or he displaced a flight control while attempting to observe the trail, causing an abrupt pitching moment that ejected him from the aircraft.

"The pilot's decision to unlatch his seatbelt during flight, which allowed him to exit the airplane and impact the tail, resulting in a loss of control and impact with terrain," the NTSB determined as the probable cause of the crash.

An autopsy by the Luzerne County Coroner's Office determined Snyder died from multiple traumatic injuries and the cause of death was an accident. The victims were found 500 feet from each other.

Sam Barron

Sam Barron has almost two decades of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, crime and business.

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As his airplane was moments from hitting the ground, a pilot unbuckled his seatbelt and flew out of the aircraft, according to a National Transportation Safety Board report of a fatal crash in Pennsylvania in October 2022.
plane crash, pilot, pennsylvania, ntsb
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2024-43-16
Tuesday, 16 April 2024 11:43 AM
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