Virginia Crash: Problem Reported 1 Minute After Takeoff

April 14, 2010

Investigators say the pilot of a single-engine plane that crashed at Roanoke Regional Airport in March reported locked controls a minute after he was cleared for takeoff.

In a preliminary report, the National Transportation Safety Board says Peter Sheeran reported that the Piper PA-46’s wheel controls were locked. An air traffic controller then cleared Sheeran to land on any runway.

The report says a witness told authorities the plane was moving slowly, “rocking a little left and right.” It began to bank to the right and hit a wire shortly afterward.

The plane then hit a UPS Freight building.

Sheeran was killed and a passenger, John Whitmer, was injured in the March 30 crash.

The accident remains under investigation.

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