Last Saturday, a small jet crashed into Percy Priest Lake around 11:00 AM shortly after takeoff from an airport in Smyrna, Tennessee. Officials have released the names of the seven deceased occupants, according to local news reports.
Several emergency and law enforcement agencies responded shortly after 11:00 AM to the Percy Priest Lake crash site, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol. Authorities quickly located the debris field. Currently, the National Transportation Safety Board or NTSB, Federal Aviation Administration or FAA and local law enforcement are assisting in the investigation.
The aircraft took off from runway 32 and entered a climbing right turn up to an altitude of 2,800 feet, far below the cruising altitude of this type of aircraft. After reaching 2,800 feet, the aircraft began losing altitude dropping down to 1,800 feet and then climbing back to 2,900 feet, before rapidly losing altitude, ultimately crashing into the lake. It is unclear what occurred during the flight to cause the aircraft to lose altitude rapidly.
The aircraft was registered to JL&GL Productions LP, owned by Joe and Lara Shamblin. The aircraft owners were among the passengers. Early reports stated that they had to undergo a controlled and quick landing. It is unclear whether the pilot was turning back towards the airfield to undergo an emergency landing shortly before crashing into the lake.
Although, the standards are very high throughout the United States in both civil and commercial aviation, these types of aviation crashes still occur due to multiple reasons. Some of the most common causes of aviation crashes are pilot error, manufacturer defects either in design, training or suggested maintenance which lead to mechanical failure, bad weather as well as failures in maintenance.
If you or someone you know has suffered due to an aviation related incident, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz, & Stogner by calling 713-396-3964 or toll-free at 1-800-594-4884.