Preliminary data released about DuBois-Jefferson County Airport plane crash

FALLS CREEK – Preliminary information has been issued about the circumstances surrounding a plane crash that happened at DuBois-Jefferson County Airport June 5.

The report says that on the afternoon of June 5, a Piper plane had taken off from Zelienople Municipal Airport and was landing at DUJ Airport. The pilot reported that the plane was “floating” on the final approach and was “caught in a gust of wind.” The airplane, according to the report, then hit the ground and caught on fire.

A witness who saw the plane said it was flying about 10 feet above the runway at DUJ Airport when an otherwise normal landing changed when he reported that the airplane “was lifted in a vertical motion” to about 30 feet in the air.

A Federal Aviation Administration inspector determined that damage sustained by the plane happened as a result of an after-crash fire. The inspector also did not note any type of mechanical problems with the plane.

The report said one person suffered serious injuries in the accident and another person suffered minor injuries. Paul Sekula, DUJ Airport Authority chairman, spoke to the media after the crash, and said only two people were on board the plane.

The National Transportation Safety Board notes that information released on the accident is only preliminary and could change at any time.

One discrepancy in the NTSB’s findings is that the accident occurred at 4:15 p.m. June 5, but reports from the scene that day said the plane crashed at about 5:15 p.m.

Emergency responders were on the scene of the crash at DuBois-Jefferson County Airport for quite some time June 5 after a plane crashed on the runway. The plane was not visible from the airport’s terminal. (Dawn Walls)

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