NTSB releases preliminary investigation report on cause of Onslow County plane crash that killed two

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(Cheyenne Pagan, WNCT photo)

HOLLY RIDGE, N.C. (WNCT) — A stall warning horn went off on the plane that crashed and killed two people in Onslow County on Oct. 21, according to a preliminary report released by the National Transportation Safety Board.

The report indicates the pilot, William Roberts, and front-seat passenger, Willie Hobbs Jr., completed a 30-minute flight before picking up two passengers at the Holly Ridge-Topsail Island Airport before departing and before the crash. Roberts and Hobbs were killed while the two passengers, both children, were injured.

Their names have not been released.

The report states, “Preliminary review of a video recorded by a witness at N21 revealed the airplane started its takeoff roll for the accident flight on the 3,591-ft-long grass runway. After lift-off, the airplane’s wings wobbled as it climbed, turned left and subsequently descended into a wooded area about two-thirds down the runway.

“A video recorded by a surviving passenger revealed that the engine continued to operate throughout the accident sequence and sounds consistent with a stall warning horn before impact.”

“The airplane came to rest on a heading of 081°; the empennage was resting against a tree with the nose vertically into the ground. The left wing was fractured at the wing root and separated from the fuselage, laying about 12 ft to the right, with the left-wing tip and aileron separated from the main wing and laying about 40 ft to the east of the main wreckage.”

The investigation continues at a facility in Atlanta, where the plane is being kept.

Click here to read more on the investigation.

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