NTSB Releases Photos And Report From Plane Crash That Dale Earnhardt Jr. Was On

(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Katie Jerkovich Entertainment Reporter
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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)

“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.

“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.

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.

Several photos have been posted online and have been shared in this piece. TMZ has some close-up photos of the plane’s destruction that can be viewed here.

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.