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NTSB report fails to state cause for fatal crash

Published on -11/6/2013, 7:10 AM

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WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- The cause of a Kansas plane crash that killed a traveling California pastor and his pilot has not been determined, according to a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board.

Ed Dufresne, 72, and pilot Mitchell Morgan, died in the Oct. 18 crash near Derby 10 minutes after the aircraft flew out of Wichita's Mid-Continent Airport. The NTSB report issued this week said the 1975 Cessna Citation had reached 15,000 feet before running into trouble and nose-diving into a soybean field, The Wichita Eagle (http://bit.ly/19z5PK6) reported.

Pilots in the area at the time indicated there was light to moderate icing conditions above 6,000 feet, but the report does not cite that as a cause of the crash.

Dufresne was a traveling minister for World Harvest Church, based in Murrieta, Calif., where both victims lived. The pastor had spoken at a Wichita church the night before the crash and was headed to a speaking engagement in Texas when the plane went down.

The federal report said the flight left Mid-Continent at 10:07 a.m., eight minutes later than was initially reported by the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office on the day of the crash.

The Kansas City Air Route Traffic Control Center cleared the pilot to climb to 23,000 feet at 10:14 a.m. Over the next minute the plane made an abrupt right turn, followed by an abrupt left turn before resuming a climb and reaching 15,200 feet at 20 seconds after 10:16 a.m., the report said.

The plane then made an abrupt descending left turn before radio and radar contact was lost. The aircraft hit the ground at 10:17 a.m.

Most of the wreckage was found near the impact crater, the report said, though an outboard portion of the left wing and the left aileron was about 3,000 feet west of the main wreckage.

It's expected to take a year before NTSB completes its investigation and issues a final report.

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