Obstruction Light Focus Of Crash Probe

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The NTSB is looking into the role a reportedly unreliable obstruction light played in the crash of a Cessna 210 at Lee Airport in Edgewater, Md., on Dec. 9. According to the NTSB preliminary report, witnesses who arrived on the scene shortly after the crash reported that the light was not illuminated and a pilot who landed there three days earlier had also reported the light wasn’t on. However, tests conducted by the NTSB the day after the crash showed the light was in proper operating condition, and “when power was applied to the switch, the light illuminated.” The light is about 30 feet below the tops of 130-foot trees and 560 feet from the runway. The 210 hit those trees about 15 feet from the light before cartwheeling to the ground, killing the pilot and part owner of the aircraft, Timothy Kramer, and his passenger Deborah Giant. The 2,500-foot runway (476 feet displaced threshold) is also equipped with pilot-controlled edge lights and a slope indicator. The report does not say whether they’d been activated. Kramer and Giant were on their way from College Station, Texas, to New York. Lee Airport, which is privately owned, was the second planned stop on the trip. According to the Bryan-College Station Eagle, Giant’s family has launched a lawsuit naming the airport operator, Cessna, two other owners of the airplane and the heir to Kramer’s estate as defendants.