The National Transportation Safety Board has released a preliminary report on a plane crash that claimed the life of a Bossier City man and a Shreveport pilot.
A Piper PA46-350P airplane crashed into the Red River Thursday, Feb. 28 claiming the lives of Michael S. Hollis, 56, of Bossier City, and pilot Richard C. Lennard, 61, of Shreveport. Hollis was Minden business man and a alumnus of Minden High School.
The airport tower lost contact with the aircraft shortly after it took off around 10:30 a.m. near the Downtown Airport.
The report says that after departing from the airport’s runway 32, Lennard was instructed by air traffic control to turn left to a heading of 270° and continue climbing to 12,000 feet mean sea level.The plane turned left continuously for 740 degrees. After climbing to 1,400 mean sea level, the plane’s altitude began to sway between 725 ft and 1,900 feet. The report then says the airplane made a decelerating turn to the right and quickly descended.
The last recorded air traffic control information indicated a ground-speed of 31 knots and altitude of 575 feet mean sea level. The plane then crashed in the river and came to rest 17 feet below its surface.
First responders worked for days to recover the men and the aircraft. Both were pulled from the river on March 2 and identified by the Caddo Parish coroner.
An extensive search for the downed aircraft was conducted by multiple agencies including the Bossier Sheriff’s Office, Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office, Shreveport Police Department, Shreveport Fire Department, Bossier City Police Department, Bossier City Fire Department, and the Louisiana State Police.
You can read the entire report on the Minden Press-Herald website. Note that a final report will be issued, which could take from six months up to a year.