A NTSB report has left more questions than answers into just what caused a plane to crash in Tennessee that Dale Earnhardt Jr. and family were flying aboard.
The 44-year-old NASCAR legend’s plane bounced two times, crashed through a chain-link fence and then caught fire before coming to a stop near a highway on Aug. 15, according to the report by the Taste of Country published Monday. (RELATED: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Breaks From NASCAR Owners On Protesting)
NEW: Video shows thick, black smoke rising from the site of a small plane crash that was carrying Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and his family. Everyone on board, including Earnhardt, escaped the wreck, said the local sheriff. https://t.co/2nqljR6C5C pic.twitter.com/noizctpZVk
— ABC News (@ABC) August 15, 2019
Documents obtained by the Charlotte Observer stated that the “airplane did not respond as expected” so the two pilots had hoped to attempt what was called a “go around” after the plane took a second bounce and “continued airborne” before it came down just 1,000 feet before the end of the 4,500-foot runway, leading the plane to crash before catching fire. (RELATED: Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Plane Crashes In Tennessee, All Onboard Unharmed)
“The video revealed that the right main landing gear collapsed and the outboard section of the right wing contacted the runway shortly after the third touchdown,” the NTSB’s three-page statement read. “The airplane departed the paved surface beyond the runway 24 departure end threshold, through an open area of grass, down an embankment, through a chain-link fence, and up an embankment, coming to rest on the edge of Tennessee Highway 91.”
There was no speculation about what caused the crash.
As previously reported, Dale, his wife Amy, their daughter Isla Rose and their dog along with two pilots all escaped without major injury, aside from a few cuts and abrasions.
Several days later, the legendary driver tweeted a message on social media stating that they were “truly blessed” that all aboard had escaped with little to no injuries.
— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) August 19, 2019
“Amy and I want to thank everyone who has lifted us up with phone calls, messages and prayer since last Thursday,” Earnhardt Jr. tweeted.
“We are truly blessed that all on board escaped with no serious injuries, including our daughter, our two pilots and our dog Gus,” he added. “With respect to the investigation, we will not be speculating or discussing the cause of the accident.”
Dale concluded, “I am thankful for the quick response of my pilots, local law enforcement, emergency personnel and hospital staff. Lastly, Amy and I continue to be very appreciative of the privacy extended to us to process everything. It has been important to do that together and on our own time.”
A more thorough investigation is expected in the weeks to come.