Report released in fatal plane crash that killed doctor

Dr. Christopher Wiltcher was killed Oct. 18 in a Brentwood plane crash.
Dr. Christopher Wiltcher was killed Oct. 18 in a Brentwood plane crash.(WSMV)
Published: Nov. 1, 2022 at 4:51 PM CDT
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BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (WSMV) – A preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) offers new details regarding a fatal plane crash in Brentwood last month.

Christopher Wiltcher, a 62-year-old OBGYN, was the pilot who died in the Oct. 18 plane crash, according to his family. Wiltcher crashed in his Piper-PA-32-300, built in 1969, on Old Smyrna Road after taking off from the Springfield Robertson County airport. The NTSB report shows Wiltcher was on the way to Fayetteville Municipal Airport for avionics repairs.

The report says Wiltcher declared an emergency at 7:33 a.m. due to partial loss of engine power. The air traffic controller speaking with Wiltcher agreed the Nashville International Airport was the closest option for an emergency landing.

At 7:38 a.m., the pilot announced the engine had “stopped” and the plane was “heading down.”

A witness said the plane was at about 75 feet above the ground when he spotted it, before it crashed into trees. The witness saw fire come from the plane, which was tangled in trees. Shortly after, the witness heard the plane shift and fall into the street, where it “exploded” and became engulfed in flames.

The cockpit and cabin were consumed by post-crash fire. Wiltcher was pronounced dead on the scene.

He had all the proper certificates and training, according to the NTSB. Before the fatal crash, Wiltcher asked the air traffic controller to tell his family he loved them. At his family’s request, WSMV4 shared the audio recording with them, but we chose not to air it.