Taylor Township, Centre County, Pa- WTAJ has learned new details on the flight path of the plane that crashed into a mountain in Taylor Township, Centre County.
The single engine Cessna 172, owned by the State College club called Psyfliers, took off from the University Park Airport Wednesday afternoon at 12:41 p.m.
Software on FlightAware.com shows the plane was traveling south and west after takeoff. The website reports that the plane’s destination was the Butler County Airport.
Shortly after takeoff, the plane dropped 1,000 feet in altitude, then gained over 1,000 feet before plummeting downward. According to FlightAware.com, the plane was traveling over 100 mph near the time of the crash. The website’s software lost connection with the plane at 12:51 p.m.
Penn State Aerospace Engineering Professor Emeritus Skip Smith tells WTAJ that weather and lack of visibility can be a primary factor in crashes with similar conditions (fog). Smith added that it’s not uncommon that a pilot fails to get a mayday call out. It’s currently unknown if the plane put out any type of distress call… but no contact was heard from air traffic control at the University Park Airport after the plane took off.
Thus far there no prior problems have been reported on the plane itself, and it was shown to have been flown for nearly an hour on the day before the crash.
A preliminary report of the crash from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will come out in two weeks at the latest. However, the NTSB says it could take as long as two years to determine the cause of the crash.