MARCH 2014 UPDATE: A new report released by the NTSB says the flight that killed West Monroe businessman Dean Hart Sr and three others was illegal.
The report shows the pilot of the Beechcraft Bonanza had a lapsed medical certificate for a commercial flight, making the flight illegal. The report does not question whether the pilot was qualified to fly the plane.
The chartered flight was in-route from Beaumont, Texas to Monroe January 24th.. 2013.
The pilot missed his first attempt at landing and had to make another. The plane crashed near the Ouachita Correctional Center. The 31-year-old pilot and three others were killed.
FEBRUARY 2013 -- The National Transportation Safety Board has released a preliminary report regarding the January plane crash in Richwood, Louisiana.
The crash killed Don Thompson, Dean Hart Sr., and Max Larche -- all from Northeast Louisiana --
and the pilot, Mason Maudlin of Little Rock, Arkansas.
Here is the report summary:
"On January 24, 2013, about 1345 central standard time, a Raytheon Aircraft Company (RAC) A-36 Bonanza, N980SS, impacted trees and terrain in a wooded area near Richwood, Louisiana, while on an instrument approach for landing at the Monroe Regional Airport (KMLU), Monroe, Louisiana. The commercial pilot and three passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed by the impact and a post-crash fire. The airplane was registered to, and operated by Central Flying Services, Inc., under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, Subpart K as a fractional ownership personal flight. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules flight plan had been filed. The flight originated from Beaumont Municipal Airport (KBMT), Beaumont, Texas, at 1225, and was destined for KMLU.
KMLU's air traffic control tower supervisor said that the first contact with the airplane was about 1330 and the accident happened at 1349. He said the airplane came in from the south at 7,000 feet mean sea level (msl). When the airplane was about 33 miles from the airport, the local controller gave the pilot instructions to turn left 15 degrees to intercept the localizer to runway 4 and descend to 2,000 feet msl. The airplane made the turn to intercept the localizer but overshot the inbound course. The airplane was about 2 miles left (north) of course and continuing north when the local controller asked the airplane if he was established on the localizer. The local controller then gave the pilot instructions to turn right 70 degrees to re-intercept the course. The airplane turned onto the localizer. At 4 miles from SABAR, the outer marker and glide slope intercept point for the approach; the pilot was cleared to contact the tower. When the pilot did so, the controller cleared the pilot to land runway 4.
When the pilot told the controller that he was at 3,000 feet, landing clearance was canceled and the controller issued missed approach instructions. Radar data indicates the airplane made a tight right turn to the south. The airplane was at 1,600 feet and 211 knots. The airplane climbed to 1,900 feet, then descended and disappeared from radar. At that time, the airplane was in a tight descending right turn at 1,600 feet and 2 miles inside SABAR at an indicated ground speed of 210 knots. A short time later, witnesses saw the airplane descending almost vertically at a high rate of speed just prior to losing sight of the airplane in the trees and hearing the impact trees and terrain."