NTSB: Plane attempted landing before crashing in Bolingbrook

Narayan Venguswamy
September 26, 2013 8:32:08 PM PDT
The NTSB investigated the wreckage of a small plane that crashed into Bolingbrook parking lot and burst into flames, killing a Kentucky pilot and his wife.

Bolingbrook Plane Crash Pictures

Surgeon Narayan Venguswamy, known as Dr. Vengu at Georgetown Community Hospital in Kentucky, died on Thursday morning. He had been badly burned. His wife, Jay, was pronounced dead on the scene Wednesday afternoon.

On Thursday afternoon, NTSB investigators picked through the wreckage before hauling it away as they try to determine a cause for the accident. The charred remains of the single engine Cirrus SR-20 were removed from the scene Thursday and taken to a secure location.

The NTSB says this type of aircraft does not have a black box and the fire will impact the investigation.

"It does become somewhat more difficult because we have less airplane but we can still get what we need," said Josh Lindberg, NTSB.

The flight instruments may provide some clues. Investigators also spoke to witnesses who say the plane appeared to abort its first landing attempt at nearby Clow Airport.

"According to witnesses, it did land and rolled on the runway and then took off again," said Lindberg.

The NTSB will look at whether Dr. Venguswamy ran out of space on the runway.

The couple was flying from Georgetown, Kentucky to the Chicago area for a medical conference when they crashed in Bolingbrook on Wednesday.The two had been married for 27 years.

"It crashed right away in flames, it was just horrendous. He was saying 'help my wife, help my wife," said George Steimer, witness.

ABC7's Ben Bradley asks, "As he was on fire?"

"As he was on fire," said Steimer.

The plane was built in 2004 and re-certified as air-worthy a little more than a year-and-a-half ago. Witnesses tell ABC7 the plane appeared to abort its first landing attempt at nearby Clow Airport after realizing there wasn't enough runway left.

"It is a maneuver and it has to be done correctly and if it's not done correctly, it can have outstanding ramifications," said Lee Roberts, pilot.

Pilots say the wind switched mid-day from east to west, making for a complicated crosswind at the airport Wednesday evening.

"You need more experience to deal with a crosswind; it's as simple as that. As winds get stronger your ability needs to also get stronger," said Roberts.

Clow Airport doesn't have a control tower. Automated weather data comes from a Romeoville station 8 miles away. Pilot Howard McIntyre who landed at Clow three hours before the crash says the combination of an aborted landing and a crosswind can make for tricky flying.

"As you pull up the wind kind of pushes you down a little bit so you really have to watch and make sure you have a good rate of climb," said Howard McIntyre, pilot.

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