No cause yet on Truckee pilot’s crash |

No cause yet on Truckee pilot’s crash

National Transportation Safety Board investigators are interviewing witnesses and piecing together airplane controls as part of a thorough investigation into the crash that took Truckee pilot Clayton Beck’s life.

Beck took off from Truckee Tahoe Airport around noon on July 2, and was reported missing by family when he didn’t return. A subsequent search found the wreckage and Beck’s remains near Sierraville.

“The airplane hit pretty large trees and started to fragment from there,” said Joshua Cawthra, investigator-in-charge with the Safety Board. “The wing and engine were separated during the impact.”

There is no evidence that the wing or the engine separated prior to collision, Cawthra said.

Now, a more thorough inspection of the aircraft will look at the engine, fuel system, flight instruments and the radio for any clues as to the cause of the crash, Cawthra said.

“We will be going through every system on the airplane,” he said.

Beyond looking into the aircraft, Cawthra said he will investigate Beck’s flight experience, health, the weather conditions the day of the crash and take witness statements.

“We do have a few witnesses,” Cawthra said.

The investigation could take between six months and a year, he said, and shortly thereafter the safety board would make a finding of probable cause.

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