Taylor Township, Centre County, Pa- WTAJ has gathered new details related to a plane that crashed Wednesday afternoon in the mountains of Taylor Township, Centre County.
The crash killed both the plane’s pilot and passenger… who were identified Thursday evening by the Centre County Coroner’s office.
The pilot: 55-year-old Joseph T. Bernardo of State College.
The passenger: 54-year-old Valerie Bernardo of State College.
The two were husband and wife.
It’s now known that Bernardo took off from the University Park Airport in State College.
However, different sources conflict in stating where the plane was headed. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) says the plane was headed for Burlington, Vermont. But, FlightAware.com reports that the plane was headed to the Butler County Airport. According to a flight path provided by FlightAware.com, the plane appeared to be headed south and west toward the Butler County Airport.
WTAJ gathered audio recordings of air traffic control’s contact with the plane before it took off.
Note: At this time, it’s unknown who is speaking during each radio transmission (it could be the pilot or air traffic control). Also, IFR (referenced below) stands for instrument flight rules… this is different than VFR- visual flight rules.
A trascription of the radio transmissions is below.
“733 University Park…do you want your IFR… “
“Do you want me to remove that strip or leave it open?”
“Your IFR flight plan is good.”
“733 Kilo 0 University Tower runway… good for takeoff”
Then about 11 seconds later… this is heard
“Quiet out there”
“Pilots do get nervous”
At the moment, WTAJ is not certain of the context of “Pilots do get nervous”.
Was this just a side comment by air traffic control, perhaps referencing the notion that the pilot didn’t respond to being cleared for takeoff?
Or did the pilot say this indicating he was actually nervous?
Why was this stated in a radio trasmission?
University Park Airport has not commented on questions related to the trasmissions as the plane crash is still under investigation.
It is known that the plane was owned by a State College flying club called: Pysfliers.
According to FlightAware.com, the plane was taken out on at least 5 flights last month… including one flight that lasted just under an hour, on the day before the crash.
All flights listed for the plane before the crash took-off and landed at the University Park Airport.