XENIA — The plane that crashed at the Greene County Airport last month had received recent maintenance at a repair station, according to a report issued by federal investigators.
According to a preliminary National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) accident report, the purpose of the Jan. 26 flight, which ended in a crash that killed Joel Lansford, 33, of Fairborn, was to return a light Cirrus SR22T to its home base at the Greene County Airport. The plane was returning to Xenia from an airport in Indianapolis following maintenance, the report stated.
According to the NTSB, Lansford, the pilot and sole occupant of the plane, flew a “normal” IFR flight (instrument flight rules, used when outside visual reference is not clear due to weather or darkness) from Indianapolis. Lansford reportedly canceled the IFR after he broke from the clouds on his approach to the runway.
“Several … witnesses who were in vehicles on roadways near the airport reported that they saw the airplane appear to start a left base turn to final and then nose down prior to the runway 25 threshold,” the report stated, adding that evidence at the accident site was consistent with a nose-down impact.
Plane wreckage was found about 300 feet short of the runway.
The report also noted that there were no reported distress calls from Lansford during the flight and that he had “normal communications with ATC (air traffic control) and ground personnel throughout the flight.”
Weather conditions at the time of the crash (about 6 p.m.) were reported as overcast with a cloud base height of about 1,700 feet and visibility of 10 statute miles. The report also noted that an airport employee had reported wind at 9 knots (about 10 mph), gusting to 14 knots (about 16 mph). NTSB information also noted that “visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed in the area during the approach.”
The NTSB has issued the accident report with the caveat that it is preliminary, is subject to change and may contain errors, stating, “Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.”
Lansford, who previously worked as a flight instructor at the Springfield location of the Middletown Regional Flight Training Institute, has been previously described as a “very good” pilot who had a strong faith.
Lansford is survived by a wife and twin toddlers.