SOMERSET, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky pilot who died along with three passengers in a 2017 plane crash likely became disoriented in bad weather before the aircraft went down, federal investigators said.
According to a report from the National Transportation Safety Board, pilot Scott T. Foster wasn't rated to fly by instruments alone and entered an area where the weather conditions — typically clouds that obstruct views — would have required flying by instruments.
Attorneys for Foster's widow have raised the potential that icing on the plane's wings was a significant factor in the crash, the Herald-Leader reported . But the NTSB didn't cite icing as a potential cause of the accident.
Foster, the plane's owner; his 15-year-old son, Noah; dentist Kyle P. Stewart and Somerset police chaplain Doug Whitaker died in the Nov. 12, 2017, crash in Barren County.
The group was returning from a hunting trip in western Tennessee when the plane nosedived and hit trees in a heavily wooded area near Fountain Run, in Barren County.
The report said Foster was trying to climb to a higher altitude for better visibility, but the plane instead made shallow turns to the left and right.
Less than a minute after saying he would climb to 8,000 feet (2,440 meters), Foster's plane was at an altitude of 5,675 feet (1,730 meters). "We're going down," he said on the radio.
The NTSB said it believed a contributing factor in the crash was Foster's "self-induced pressure to complete the flight."
The crash was among the worst air accidents in the state since an August 2006 crash at Blue Grass Airport in Lexington that killed 49 people.
Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader, http://www.kentucky.com