NTSB report says Richwood plane crash flight was illegal - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

NTSB report says Richwood plane crash flight was illegal

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Mason Mauldin Mason Mauldin

MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - A report released by the NTSB shows that a pilot had a lapsed certification when a plane crash occurred in January 2013.

The pilot, who worked for Central Flying Service in Little Rock, Arkansas, was identified as Mason Mauldin.

The report says that he held a commercial pilot certification, and also was a certified flight instructor. According to the report, Mauldin had 470 total flying hours. The report goes on to say that pilot had less than 10 hours of total flying time in the plane that crashed.

The plane was a A-36 Bonanza. The plane crashed in a wooded area on January 24, 2013 near the Ouachita Correctional Center.

The report says that Mauldin was in a decent when air traffic controllers asked Mauldin to get on a new course towards the runway. After this interaction, he spoke to Monroe airport traffic controllers. He was cleared for landing at the airport, but said that he was "curious that he was not going to be able to get down."

The pilot said that 3000 feet is all that he would be able to descend to. After multiple attempts to communicate with Mauldin and instructions from the tower, contact was lost. The clearance given to land and the time the plane crashed was only 3 minutes.

The NTSB report says that "the FAA inspector assigned to this investigation stated that because the pilot was an employee of the company and was being compensated by the company to fly passengers, the flight was a commercial flight and should have been governed under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 135 – Commuter and On Demand Operations. And because FAR Part 61.23 states that the pilot must at a minimum have a medical certificate that reflects class 2 privileges to conduct a commercial flight, and the pilot did not have that at the time of the flight, the flight was illegal."

Mauldin was required to fly the plane with a second-class medical certificate, and according to the report, showed that his certification had lapsed.

The report does not question whether or not the pilot was qualified to fly the plane.

Mauldin was 31-years-old at the time of the crash that killed Dean Hart, Sr., Max Larche, and Don Thompson.

The full NTSB report can be read by clicking here. (May not work on mobile site)

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