Authorities increase investigation area at fatal crash site - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Authorities increase investigation area at fatal plane crash site

(Amateur video, source Rick Balducci) (Amateur video, source Rick Balducci)

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Preliminary investigations from the NTSB revealed that a pilot who fatally crashed a plane Wednesday night near the Birmingham airport had originally planned to land at the Shelby County Airport.

"From the preliminary data the pilot was in contact with the Birmingham tower and the pilot did not report any problem and the pilot did not seem to be in a panicked state," NTSB Senior Safety Investigator Bob Gertz said.

Birmingham Fire and Rescue arrived to the 8000 block of 6th Avenue North and found the small Beech BE58 airplane ablaze in a grassy area at 6:41 Wednesday night.

The plane was on approach to runway 24 at the airport when witnesses say a plane fell from the sky.

"It sounded like a nuclear was was really loud. Just like boom," said April Pierce and Reginald Smith, who witnessed the incident. 

The coroner has not yet identified the pilot as of Thursday afternoon. The plane was registered to Sutters Mill Gold and Jewelry in Pelham, also known as Pee Wee's Pawn Shop.

Birmingham Police have cordoned off the scene to allow investigators to determine the cause of the crash. The NTSB says that bad weather in Shelby County was the reason the pilot initially decided to re-route to Birmingham.

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