NTSB issues final report on plane crash that killed 2 from St. Augustine

By Jason Mealey, Producer, jmealey@wjxt.com
Published On: Aug 06 2014 11:00:36 AM EDT
Updated On: Jul 21 2014 10:00:22 AM EDT

File photo of crash scene October 3, 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C. -

The National Transportation Safety Board has issued its final report on a plane crash that happened near Gary, Indiana in October 2012.

Two St. Augustine businessmen were killed in the crash. The pilot, 48-year-old Vincent Vaccarelli, and his passenger, 45-year old Patsy Crisafi, died when their single-engine Cirrus SR2 crashed into the woods.

The plane was registered to Gandy AIR LLC in St. Augustine according to F.A.A. records.

The NTSB report states an "air traffic controller did not provide approach clearance to the accident airplane until it was inside the final approach fix and 1,000 feet above crossing altitude."

The pilot's loss of control is also listed as a contributing factor in the crash. The report states, "The pilot disconnected the autopilot after receiving the approach clearance, and the airplane began a rapid descent. About 40 seconds later, the airplane rolled left and tracked left off the approach course.

"The airplane continued to roll right and pitch to a nose-high altitude before rapidly transitioning to a nose-down altitude of more than 85 degrees."

READ: Final NTSB report

As the plane descended below a 900-foot cloud layer, the pilot rolled the airplane to wings level and made a high g-force pullup until ground impact, according to the report.

The NTSB report lists the cause of the crash as the pilot's loss of control due to spatial disorientation, combined with deficient communication from the tower while he was on approach.

The NTSB said the pilot had marijuana and other drugs in his system, but the effect of the marijuana could not be determined.

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