A recent small plane crash in Arizona is raising questions about what exactly caused the plane to crash shortly after takeoff, leading to the deaths of all six people onboard. The National Transportation Safety Board is now conducting a comprehensive investigation into the cause of the crash with the hope that doing so will reveal additional details that can help prevent future, similar incidents.
According to People, no one on the ground suffered injury because of the crash, but additional details surrounding the incident were relatively scarce immediately following it. However, early reports indicate that the plane crashed very shortly after taking off sometime around 8:45 p.m.
Per AZCentral.com, NTSB conducted an investigation in the plane crash's aftermath that revealed some preliminary findings about potential causes. An overloaded cabin may have played a role in the incident, with one safety expert suggesting that having six adults, luggage and plane fuel onboard may have thrown off the center of gravity, possibly contributing to the crash.
A miscalculation involving density altitude may have also been a factor, as a witness reported that the plane struggled to gain altitude after taking off and that the aircraft appeared to be flying closer to the ground than is typical. There are also some questions surrounding who exactly was driving the plane when it crashed. A student pilot and a certified airline transport pilot were sitting in the front two seats, but it is unclear which of them was actually commandeering the airplane when it went down. The certified pilot flew the plane for the first time ever earlier that day, prior to the fatal crash.