ANGEL FIRE, NM (Marshall News Messenger) — The Angel Fire, NM, plane accident that killed members of the Verhalen family, of Marshall, was caused by windy weather, according to a preliminary report recently released by the National Transportation Safety Board.
According to the report, when the pilot arrived at the airport, a fixed base operator employee questioned the pilot’s intent to fly in the windy weather.
“The pilot indicated that he planned to fly and that the winds would not be a problem,” the report states.
When the pilot radioed on universal communications that he was taxiing to runway 17, the current wind and altimeter were relayed to the pilot by the FBO employee, which were repeated by the pilot.
The report says that due to snow piles on the airfield, the FBO employee could not see the takeoff and next saw the airplane airborne with a significant crab angle into the wind, about 40 degrees right of the runway heading.
See the full report on the Marshall News Messenger's website.