A 1946 Cessna involved in a fatal plane crash showed no signs of mechanical deficiency or failure not related to the impact, according to a preliminary report issued Monday by the National Transportation Safety Board.
The crash that killed Wellington resident Joseph James Miceli, 59, occurred sometime after he texted his girlfriend at 3:58 p.m. March 8. The wreckage of Miceli’s airplane was found 3 p.m. March 9 about six miles southeast of Carson City.
According to the report, Miceli took off for Carson City from Farias Wheel Airport near Upper Colony Road in Smith Valley on March 8 to do some shopping.
His girlfriend told investigators she expected him to return later that day or the morning of the following day, since he sometimes stayed in Carson City. She became concerned about him around the same time his aircraft was discovered by a passing pilot.
Investigators are having trouble pinning down what time Miceli left Carson City since two witnesses gave departure times that varied by three hours and there was no way to determine which was right.
There is no air traffic control tower at the Carson airport, and preliminary searches of FAA radio communications and radar records didn’t reveal any evidence of the flight.
Miceli held a flight instructor certificate for both single and multi-engine aircraft and a second-class FAA medical certificate. He had a total flight experience of 4,900 hours.