On Wednesday, federal safety regulators confirmed that pilots were at fault for the plane crash that injured former NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., his wife, and their 15-month-old daughter.
In addition, officials released photos of Earnhardt Jr.’s plane after it crashed. Pictures of the wrecked plane show that the NASCAR legend and his family are fortunate to be alive.
The National Transportation Safety Board reported the probable cause of the incident in Tennessee came down to decisions made by the pilots. Their poor decisions included approaching the runway too fast and a failed attempt to abort the landing.
“I don’t need to tell ya, we’re really fast,” the co-pilot told the pilot who was flying the plane right before they landed.
The NTSB’s report concluded the pilots’ decisions “resulted in a bounced landing, a loss of airplane control, a landing gear collapse, and a runway excursion.”
The pilots did not correctly utilize the speed brakes and thrust reversers to stop the plane. Therefore the pilots lost the ability to abort the landing and make a second attempt.
Further Details Of Earnhardt Jr.’s Crash-Landing
Earnhardt Jr.’s plane crashed on an Elizabethton, TN airport runway on Aug. 15, 2019. The plane, a Cessna Citation, skidded off the runway through some fencing and caught fire after landing. The plane came to a stop alongside a local highway.
Photos taken at the scene show the plane in flames as sections of it are burnt to ashes. Additionally, the pictures show just how far the plane skidded from the runaway before it stopped. Other photos show plane parts broken off around the ground from the hard crash.
The famous son of Dale Earnhardt, his wife, daughter, dog, and the two pilots on board all escaped the wreckage with only minor injuries. Earnhardt Jr. says he suffered a bruised back during the crash. However, he and his family had zero issues after the wreck.
All five people – and the dog – were able to exit the plane on their own. In fact, everyone was already out by the time the fire department arrived, according to Elizabethton Fire Chief Barry Carrier.
As the multiple photos released by the NTSB on Wednesday show, Earnhardt Jr. and his family miraculously escaped what easily could have been a fatal plane crash.
Furthermore, the NTSB report reported that the remains of the crashed plane were destroyed.