Crossfield's 210A Likely Pulled To Pieces By Storm

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An NTSB early report says most of the lifting surfaces on Scott Crossfield's Cessna 210A were found about a mile away from the wreckage of the rest of the plane, suggesting the Category 6 thunderstorm the veteran test pilot had the misfortune of encountering on April 19 was just too much for the aircraft. Moments after Crossfield asked air traffic control for a diversion around weather, the plane disappeared from radar screens. The body of the 84-year-old aviation icon, who was the first to fly at Mach 2, was found with the main wreckage about four miles from Ludville, Ga. The slight damage to nearby trees suggests the main wreckage fell almost vertically and created a crater four feet deep. The main wreckage consisted of cockpit, engine, propeller, left and right main wing spars, nose and main landing gear, left and right flap, and portions of the empennage, according to the NTSB. Everything else was either found in the other debris field or hasn't been recovered. The NTSB didn't find any evidence of mechanical, instrument or control failure. Crossfield was on a flight from Prattville, Ala., to Manassas, Va., when he encountered the storm and asked for the diversion. A family-only funeral service was scheduled for today but there's no word on any public memorials being planned.