FAA, Sheriff’s investigators trying to determine cause of plane crash in Gaines

Provided photo: Undersheriff Christopher Bourke, Deputy Meridith Papponetti and Investigator Jeffrey Gifaldi examine the wreckage of a plane that crashed in the woods Wednesday evening by the Gaines Valley Airport.

Posted 25 August 2017 at 2:59 pm

Press Release, Undersheriff Chris Bourke

GAINES – The Orleans County Sheriff’s Office, along with the Federal Aviation Administration, are continuing the investigation into the crash of an experimental aircraft near the Gaines Valley Airport in the Town of Gaines.

On Thursday morning, the FAA and Sheriff’s investigators were back on the crash site located in a wooded area south of the runway. Investigators are attempting to piece together the circumstances that occurred just prior to the aircraft going down in the woods.

Preliminary findings indicate that Earl J. Luce was taking off in a westerly direction at the Gaines Valley Airport and immediately upon lifting off and gaining altitude, he allegedly had a control issue. Mr. Luce reported that he put the plane down through the trees to avoid striking the structures along the airfield. Mr. Luce is a very experienced pilot and has many hours of flight time with this type of aircraft.

The Sheriff’s Office and FAA investigators are waiting for approval from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to move the aircraft from the crash site to a hanger for further examination.

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