- Associated Press - Thursday, February 2, 2017

SAGLE, Idaho (AP) - A report says pilot error and insufficient preflight preparations are the likely causes of a 2015 small plane crash that killed three people.

The final National Transportation Safety Board report published on Tuesday concluded that whoever was piloting Pamela Bird’s plane likely caused the Oct. 8, 2015, crash in the Cabinet Mountains near Hope, The Bonner County Daily Bee reported (https://bit.ly/2jHRByZ ).

A photo taken immediately before the plane lifted off showed Bird in the left front seat, Tookie Hensley in the right front seat and Don Hensley in a rear seat. However, NTSB investigators were unable to determine who was at the controls when the plane collided with trees on Round Top Mountain. The Cessna can be controlled from either of the front seats.

Bird, widow of renowned inventor Forrest Bird, held a private pilot certificate with a single-engine land rating. Tookie Hensley held commercial pilot and flight instructor certificates.

Bird was presumably killed in the crash. NTSB investigators concluded her remains were consumed in a post-crash fire that destroyed the cabin on her Cessna 182P airplane. The remains of Donald and Tookie Hensley, of Mohave Valley, Arizona, were identified.



The flight left from the Bird Aviation Museum and Invention Center in Sagle, Idaho, which has its own airstrip. It was headed to Minot, North Dakota.

The report determined that, based on elevation of the wreckage, the pilot likely did not select an altitude sufficient to clear the mountains. The analysis also noted that the pilots did not obtain a weather briefing from a flight service station on the day of the accident.

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Information from: Bonner County (Idaho) Daily Bee, https://www.bonnercountydailybee.com

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