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NTSB report: Propeller on plane that crashed & caught fire at Timmerman struck ground 22 times

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MILWAUKEE — The NTSB has released its preliminary report on a plane crash that occurred on July 29th at Timmerman Airport in Milwaukee.  53-year-old Joseph Trustey and his daughter, 18-year-old Anna Trustey were killed. There were several witnesses to the crash and the huge fire that followed.

Anna and Joseph Trustey

Anna and Joseph Trustey

The NTSB indicates the incident began with an aborted landing, and indicates a propeller on the aircraft struck the ground 22 times.

Anna Trustey was flying into Milwaukee with her father as the pilot. They had an appointment on July 30th at Marquette University, where Anna was considering going to school this fall.

Joseph Trustey was a financial chief operating officer with Summit Partners, a financial private equity firm in Boston.

The crash happened shortly after 6:00 p.m. on July 29th.

NTSB officials say the aircraft, a Socata model TBM 700 single-engine turboprop airplane was destroyed during the post-impact fire.

Plane crash at Timmerman Airport

Plane crash at Timmerman Airport

The aircraft collided with terrain following a loss of control during an aborted landing at Timmerman Airport, the NTSB report says.

The airplane was registered to Trustey Management Corporation and was operated by Joseph Trustey.

The flight departed Beverly Municipal Airport in Beverly Massachusetts at shortly before 4:00 p.m.

NTSB officials say the flight had been cleared for a visual approach to the runway.

At 6:08 p.m., while on a 2.5 mile final approach, NTSB officials say the pilot asked the tower controller for the current wind conditions

In a post-accident interview, the tower controller reported that he established visual contact with the airplane when it was on a three-mile final approach to the runway. The tower controller stated that the airplane’s landing gear appeared to be extended during the aircraft’s final approach, and that the airplane landed within the runway’s marked touchdown zone.

The tower controller stated that the airplane did not appear to bounce upon landing, however, he heard a squealing noise that was longer in duration than typical.

Shortly after the landing, the report indicates the pilot transmitted “Go-Around” — indicating he would be abandoning his approach to landing.

The tower controller stated that he acknowledged the aborted landing and cleared the pilot to enter a left traffic pattern.

The tower controller stated that he heard the engine speed accelerate and observed the airplane maintain a level altitude over the runway until it passed the “taxiway charlie intersection.” He then observed the airplane pitch-up, and enter a climbing left turn. The tower controller stated that the airplane appeared to “stall” during the climbing left turn and subsequently descended into the ground while in a left wing low altitude.

A post-accident examination of the runway revealed numerous slash marks that were consistent with propeller blades striking the asphalt surface.

The first propeller strike was identified about 1,384 feet from the runway.

The NTSB report indicates there were 22 propeller strike marks identified over a distance of about 25 feet. The propeller strike marks were located slightly to the right of the runway centerline. There were numerous small asphalt pieces found adjacent to the slash markings.

The main wreckage was located in an open field located on the west side of the airport property.

Aftermath of plane crash at Timmerman Airport

Aftermath of plane crash at Timmerman Airport

The initial impact was identified by a small ground depression that contained pieces of red lens material that were consistent with the left wing navigational light. A large area of burnt ground and vegetation preceded the main wreckage.

The NTSB report describes the damage to the aircraft in detail:

The propeller, nose landing gear, right flap, and left aileron were located along the wreckage debris path.

The main wreckage consisted of the fuselage, empennage, both wings, and the engine. A majority of the fuselage, including the cockpit and cabin, and the left wing were consumed by the post-impact fire. The cockpit Garmin avionic components, including the non-volatile memory cards, were destroyed by the post-impact fire.

Flight control continuity could not be established due to impact and fire damage, however, all observed separations were consistent with overstress or were consumed during the post-impact fire.

The landing gear selector switch was found in the gear down position, NTSB officials say.

Measurements of the landing gear actuators were consistent with all three landing gear being fully extended at the time of impact.

Examination of the nose wheel tire and right main tire did not reveal any flat spots. The right main and nose wheel assemblies rotated freely and no anomalies were noted with the right brake components.

A majority of the left main tire had been consumed during the post-impact fire.

The four fuselage skid plates, installed on the lower wing spar carry-through structure, did not exhibit any evidence of scraping damage. The lower VHF antenna had separated from the fuselage and was located along the wreckage debris path. The lower VHF antenna did not exhibit any evidence of scraping damage. The trailing edge of the right flap and the corresponding flap track fairings did not exhibit any evidence of scraping damage. The left flap was partially consumed during the post-impact fire. Measurements of the flap actuator jack screws were consistent with the flaps in the landing configuration.

The propeller assembly and the forward section of the reduction gearbox had separated from the engine and were found along the wreckage debris path.

All four propeller blades remained attached to the hub assembly and exhibited S-shape bends, tip curls, chordwise scratching, and leading edge damage. The fractured propeller shaft exhibited features consistent with torsional overload. The engine exhaust exhibited evidence of torsional bending associated with impact. The downstream face of the compressor turbine disc and blades exhibited rotational scoring from contact with the adjacent static components. The upstream face of the compressor turbine disc and blades were unremarkable. The first-stage power turbine vane and baffle exhibited rub marks on both sides from contact with the power turbine and compressor turbine discs and blades. The first-stage power turbine disc and blades exhibited rotational scoring on the upstream face.

Examination of the engine oil filter and magnetic chip detectors did not reveal any significant particulate contamination. The observed damage to the propeller and engine components were consistent with the engine operating at a medium-to-high power output at the time of impact, the report says.

CLICK HERE to for the NTSB report.

Summit Partners released the following statement after the crash:

“It is with immense sadness that Summit Partners announces that our beloved friend and colleague, Joseph F. Trustey, and his daughter, Anna were involved in a plane crash on Wednesday evening. Joe and Anna were traveling to the Midwest for a college visit tour, and tragically, neither survived the accident.

Joe joined Summit Partners full-time in 1992 and was an invaluable asset to the firm and a respected leader in the growth equity industry more broadly.

Summit’s Marty Mannion said: “Joe was uniquely distinguished in so many ways: as a partner, a leader and a friend.  He was a wonderful husband and father who also cared deeply for those with whom he worked both inside and outside the firm.  He touched everybody he met with his intellect, his sterling character and his engaging sense of humor. We cannot express how much we will miss his presence in our lives.”

We appreciate the outpouring of support, comfort and prayers that are being offered by all those who knew and loved Joe. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Trustey family, and we are focused on supporting them during this challenging time.”

Marquette University Senior Director of University Communication Brian Dorrington released the following statement:

“Our hearts go out to the Trustey family during this time of overwhelming tragedy. Anna Trustey and her father, Joseph, had plans to visit Marquette University today. We are so sorry for the family’s loss and our thoughts and prayers are with them. Given that the family has requested privacy during this extremely difficult time, we will respect this and do not have further information to share.”