SMYRNA, TN (WSMV) - A recently-released report sheds new details on the plane crash into Percy Priest Lake that killed seven members of a Brentwood church last month.
The National Transportation Safety Board released its preliminary report on the private plane crash near the Fate Sanders Marina in Smyrna on May 29. The Cessna C501, which was headed to West Palm Beach, Fla., crashed shortly rafter takeoff from Smyrna Airport. The pilot and all six passengers died in the crash.
According to the report, the plane departed just before 11 a.m. and made a climbing right turn to the east. A departure controller "instructed the pilot to turn right to a heading 130°," but the report states the pilot did not acknowledge the request.
Two minutes later, the controller told the pilot to climb and maintain 15,000 feet msl, "but there was no response," according to the report.
"The controller then made multiple attempts to re-establish communications with the airplane; however, there were no further communications," the report stated.
Around the same time, a fisherman at Percy Priest Lake saw the airplane crash "straight down" into a shallow part of the lake. This witness told NTSB that he did not see any evidence of fire or an explosion.
The Rutherford County Fire Rescue Department confirmed the victims of the crash as William J. Lara, Gwen S. Lara, Jennifer J. Martin, David L. Martin, Jessica Walters, Jonathan Walters and Brandon Hannah, all of Brentwood, TN.
The plane did not have a flight data recorder, commonly known as a black box - or a cockpit voice recorder.