Victims of Southwest Fresno plane crash identified as Tim Farmer and his 9-year-old nephew

Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board arrived in Fresno Friday to begin piecing together what caused a small airplane to crash near Chandler Airport
December 27, 2013 3:50:45 PM PST
Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board arrived in Fresno Friday to begin piecing together what caused a small airplane to crash near Chandler Airport.

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Investigators are trying to find the pilot's log book to determine his level of flying experience. The wreckage was removed from the crash site late Friday night. It will be taken to Madera where investigators will further examine what is left of the Cessna 172 Skyhawk.

Small planes continued to take off from Chandler Airport while investigators combed through the crash site just west of the runway on Friday morning.

The wreckage will only tell them so much though. Investigators are also depending on witnesses and flight data.

So far the NTSB knows that pilot Tim Farmer and his 9-year-old nephew Finn Thompson left Chandler Airport and headed towards Tehachapi on Thursday night.

"Right now we're still trying to see if he landed or not, I don't have any data to suggest he landed in Tehachapi it was departed from here en route we think it was there we don't know ultimate destination yet," NTSB Investigator Joshua Cawthra said.

On his way back to Fresno, and once in Chandler airspace, witnesses reported the plane flying erratically.

"And continued to fly down the runway in the opposite direction and from there observed by radar and witnesses to do another 180 turn towards runway," Cawthra said.

Then the NTSB said the plane hit a tree, losing some of the plane in a tree near Hawes and Thorne in Southwest Fresno.

It then flew about another mile before crashing into the front yard of a home just west of the Chandler runway.

Both Farmer and his nephew died at the scene.

"I would like to extend my condolences to the families of both occupants of the aircraft, from the NTSB it's a tragic time," Cawthra said.

The NTSB said the real work begins now. It will take them months to determine exactly how and why the plane crashed.

Investigators did say that the weather was not at all a factor. Their preliminary findings will be ready in about a week, but the final report won't be released for about six months.


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