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172 Crash At Nashville Airport Unnoticed For Hours

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Photo: Windsor Flying Club

Photo: Windsor Flying Club

One of several Cessna 172s operated by the Windsor Flying Club.

It took up to six hours for anyone to notice that a Canadian-registered Cessna 172 had crashed and burned at Nashville International Airport, killing the pilot. It appears the pilot of the aircraft may have attempted landing unnannounced at the major airport but details are sketchy. The Tennessean says the aircraft, registered to the Windsor Flying Club in Ontario, is estimated to have crashed sometime after 3 a.m. on Runway 2C, the middle of three parallel runways at the airport. Nashville's tower is staffed 24 hours a day. The FAA has so far refused to offer details of the crash, citing the ongoing investigation. The crew of an airplane taxiing about 9 a.m. reported debris on the runway to controllers who notified maintenance workers. The workers discovered the charred remains of the aircraft and the body of the pilot.

So far, CNN says the FAA isn't saying anything about the incident, including how many controllers were on duty, whether the aircraft was under active control or whether any distress calls had been received. Canada's Transportation Safety Board says there was apparently "no communication from [the 172] to air traffic control in Nashville." An unidentified spokesman told CNN that there was low visibility and fog overnight. The pilot's name has not been released and his or her nationality isn't known. The FAA, NTSB, TSB and local authorities are involved in the investigation. “We will want to understand what the circumstances were that caused it to go undiscovered for so long,” NTSB investigator Peter Knudson said.

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