Crash Pilot Was On Cellphone

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The pilot of a Cessna 182 that was flying between 120 and 140 mph, at night, and low, over an interstate highway, was talking on his cellphone when the plane's wing was sheared off by electrical wires, according to the NTSB's preliminary report. Benjamin R. Hicklin, of Spottswood, Va., was talking with his partner in the airplane, a truck driver who was driving his tractor trailer on I-81 near Weyers Cave, Va., when the plane, which was maneuvering nearby, hit the wires and crashed into another truck hauling cars on the same highway. Hicklin, 30, was an ATP with more than 4,000 hours. He died in the crash, which occurred about 11:15 p.m. on Feb. 23. According to the Staunton News-Leader, police say Hicklin was apparently trying to position the plane so his partner in the truck below could see him. There was no indication that medical or mechanical causes played a role in the crash.