Plane ran out of fuel before crashing in Mohawk Park
Jul 28, 2010 (Tulsa World – McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) —
The small plane that crashed earlier this month, killing all three local businessmen on board, ran out of fuel while approaching the runway for a landing and then crashed into Mohawk Park, according to a preliminary report released Tuesday.
The July 10 crash killed US Highland executives Mats Malmberg, 41, a Swedish national living in Glenpool; Chase Bales, 51, of Glenpool; and Damian Riddoch, 37, of Bixby.
The men, whose company specialized in high-end motorcycle equipment, were coming from a business meeting in Pontiac, Mich., when their twin-engine Cessna went down just after 10 p.m. about 1/2 mile short of the runway at Tulsa International Airport.
The pilot, Bales, requested a change from his original landing location of Jones Riverside Airport just minutes before the crash. He was given clearance to land, and a few minutes later said, “Tulsa, we’ve exhausted our fuel,” according to the report by the National Transportation Safety Board.
The plane then started to go down in a heavily wooded area of the park containing trees about 60 feet tall. Witnesses said there was a flash, according to the report.
The right wing had fire damage around the right engine and the inboard wing root.
The wreckage was about 200 feet long and 75 feet wide, according to the report.
The men left Jones Riverside Airport at 9:19 a.m. to attend a business meeting, something they did relatively often, company officials said. No flight plan was filed, and visual meteorological conditions prevailed, according to the NTSB.
The plane landed safely at Oakland County International Airport in Pontiac, Mich., at 12:51 p.m.
The pilot asked that the plane be “topped off,” and it was services with 154 gallons of fuel. The tank had a capacity for 196 gallons, according to the report.
Before taking off from Pontiac to return to Tulsa, Bales performed a pre-flight inspection, and noticed that the right main tank sump had become stuck open, resulting in a loss of five to six gallons of fuel. No more fuel was added before the plane took off from Pontiac at 6:03 p.m., according to the report.
A factual report from the NTSB will be filed in a few months, followed by a probable cause statement in 12 to 18 months.
Check back at tulsaworld.com for more information
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