By Alex Haglund
The National Transportation Safety Board has released their preliminary report on the Friday, Jan. 2 plane crash in Western Kentucky which killed pilot Marty Gutzler, his wife, Kim, their daughter, Piper, and their niece, Sierra Wilder, all of Nashville. Marty and Kim’s younger daughter, Sailor Gutzler, was the only survivor of the crash.
There is little information in the preliminary report which has not already been released or published by the national news media.
At approximately 5:50 p.m., Marty Gutzler contacted air traffic control and reported problems with both engines and asked for directions to the nearest airport. He was directed to one 11 miles from his location. He advised air traffic control that he could see the airport. He was cleared for approached at the facility, Kentucky Dam State.
Gutzler then notified air traffic control that the right engine had stopped producing power. He reported that he could no longer see the airport. Gutzler requested an airport common traffic frequency. This was the last radio contact from the plane.
At approximately 5:55 p.m., several attempts to reestablish contact with the plane were made, but were unsuccessful. Then the controller stated that radar contact was lost.
The plane was last observed descending at 2,700 feet, approximately 10 miles from the airport.
Weather conditions reported at the time of the crash stated that there were possible icing conditions along the flight path and that weather could have also obscured visibility.
The rest of the report contains details about the state of the wreckage found after the crash, details about Gutzler’s qualifications and flying hours, and technical details of the plane and engines.
Crews noted signs of a minor fire following the crash. Fuel was draining from the plane as it was removed from the crash site.
Investigators took possession of two Garmin GPS units and an Apple iPhone from the wreckage for examination.
The full report can be found at www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20150103X93856&key=1
The full text of the report is also available on the Nashville News’ website at nash-news.com/pages/?p=12388