Investigators release preliminary information on Pine Nut plane crash
The last radio traffic reported from the pilot in a fatal Feb. 6 airplane crash was a 4:45 p.m. broadcast that he was taxiing and then that he was taking off.A preliminary National Transportation Safety Board report was issued Thursday in the crash that killed Minden resident Keith Jorgenson, 46.Investigators believe the aircraft crashed 25 minutes later 14 miles east of the airport in Mineral Valley southwest of Mount Como.The red and white Cessna 172S was being operated as a rental by Jorgenson’s company, Flying Start Aero. “The pilot stated that he wanted to go flying before it got dark,” the report said. “He had the airplane fully fueled and was seen taxiing away from the fixed base operations hangar.”Personnel working for the operator said they heard the pilot report he was taxiing and then taking off. No further communication from Jorgenson was reported.Weather conditions were clear that evening and Jorgenson hadn’t filed a flight plan.According to the report, personnel noticed Jorgenson hadn’t returned to the airport, which prompted Douglas County authorities to begin a search.Word of the search went out at about 11:35 a.m. Feb. 7 as members of Douglas County Sheriff’s Search & Rescue contacted surrounding airfields in an effort to find Jorgenson.Searchers also used equipment to detect any signal from the aircraft’s emergency locator transmitter. At 3 p.m. Washoe County’s RAVEN helicopter located the crash site. The aircraft wreckage had to be helicoptered out of the area.The aircraft belonged to Gardnerville resident James McFadden, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Jorgenson and his wife purchased Flying Start Aero flight training school last year.Jorgenson has worked as an independent security contractor in Afghanistan, and enjoyed flying both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters.