The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released up-close photos and its final report for the cause of the plane crash in August 2019 that Dale Earnhardt Jr. was onboard for.
The final NTSB report named pilot error as the probable cause for the crash August 15, 2019, saying that the pilot’s approach to the runway was too fast, according to CNN in a piece published Wednesday. (RELATED: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Breaks From NASCAR Owners On Protesting)
“I don’t need to tell ya, we’re really fast,” the co-pilot told the pilot who was flying the plane before landing, according to the report. (RELATED: Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Plane Crashes In Tennessee, All Onboard Unharmed)
Federal safety regulators have faulted the pilots for the August 2019 plane crash that injured former NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., his wife and 15-month-old daughter https://t.co/h4MoaSbY9R
— CNN (@CNN) September 24, 2020
“The pilot’s continuation of an unstabilized approach despite recognizing associated cues and the flight crew’s decision not to initiate a go-around before touchdown, which resulted in a bounced landing, a loss of airplane control, a landing gear collapse, and a runway excursion,” the report noted, per NBC Sports.
The NTSB’s final report cites pilot error as the cause of the 2019 plane crash involving Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his family.https://t.co/7VO0kAj1Vk
— Motorsport.com (@Motorsport) September 24, 2020
“Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s failure to deploy the speedbrakes during the initial touchdown, which may have prevented the runway excursion, and the pilot’s attempt to go around after deployment of the thrust reversers,” the report added.
Pilot error cited in 2019 plane crash involving Dale Earnhardt Jr. and family https://t.co/eBgMvtAMcE
— Jordan Bianchi (@Jordan_Bianchi) September 24, 2020
Dale Jr Crash Report released. Pilot error the cause. https://t.co/AD5Y4l0IMz
— Ricky Matthews (@WCYB_Ricky) September 23, 2020
— #NASCARPlayoffs on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) September 24, 2020
— Dustin Long (@dustinlong) September 24, 2020
According to the report:
After the fourth touchdown, the right main landing gear collapsed. The plane went off the road and through a 400-foot long area of grass. It went down an embankment, through a creek and a chain-link fence. It continued up an embankment. The plane came to rest about 600 feet beyond the runway at the edge of a four-lane highway.
As previously reported, Dale was traveling in the Cessna with his wife Amy, 15-month-old daughter Isla Rose, the family dog and two pilots when the plane crashed. The race car driver and everyone else on board the aircraft managed to get out relatively unscathed before it caught fire, aside from a few cuts and abrasions.