NTSB investigating fatal Conway plane crash - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Witness to fatal plane crash returns to scene

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CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - The National Transportation Safety Board spent several hours Sunday investigating the site of a plane crash that left three people dead Saturday afternoon.

NTSB Safety Investigator Jay Neylon said the investigation was in the very preliminary stages Sunday.

"Right now we're collecting the facts, conditions and circumstances of the accident," Neylon said.

At the scene Sunday was the NTSB, the FAA and both the engine and aircraft manufacturer's - each playing a part in the investigation.

"Normally at this point, we're just collecting all the perishable evidence at the scene," Neylon said.

Neylon said the aircraft that crashed did not have a black box inside that records all audio inside the cockpit of the plane. Neylon said a black box is typically found in larger aircrafts. A GPS device and an iPad were found and will be investigated.

Neylon said it could take up to one year to find the probable cause of the accident, but he went on to explain in 10 days, the NTSB will have a preliminary report on the accident. Neylon said between six and nine months, a factual report will be released. This report is all the facts collected during the investigation.

For now, Neylon explained getting all the initial information is the most important step.

"We're just collecting all the information  from the FAA at this point, witness statements, police and first responders," Neylon said.

Witness returns to scene for first time since crash

As of late Monday afternoon, drivers could still not turn onto Warm Springs Lane from Dunn Short Cut Rd. because the crash site is still blocked. But one man who made that same turn Saturday just seconds before the crash returned to the site.

"I wanted to see the aftermath and to just remember those people in a better sense," Said Fred Martelli.

Martelli said he was driving on Dunn Short Cut Road when he noticed the plane in the air, but nothing appeared unusual.

"It was coming in at an angle like he was turning around back towards the airport," added Martelli.

But right after Martelli turned on to Warm Springs Lane, he saw the crash.

"I let some of the traffic clear when I turned I got to where that first white mailbox is and I heard the crash behind me and saw it in the rearview mirror," Said Martelli.

Martelli said he and neighbors at surrounding homes rushed to try to find something to put out the flames.

"We were looking for fire extinguishers and anything we could find to at least help somebody in that plane," added Martelli.

NTSB Air Safety Investigator Jay Neylon said the on-site portion of the investigation is complete, and pieces of the plane have been sent to Atlanta for further investigation.

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