LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- A preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board said no response was received from the Piper PA 31T plane’s pilot, Ian Biggs, after air traffic control sent a low altitude alert.
Moments later, witnesses said they heard both engines running as the plane descended into trees, striking a utility line near Verot School Road.
The aircraft then struck the road and continued across the United States Postal Service parking lot, the report said.
Investigators said the plane descended between 2,000 and 3,000 feet per minute.
The crash killed five victims and critically injured two, which included one of the plane’s passengers.
“The wreckage path included fragmented and burned pieces of the airplane and tree debris, and extended from the trees and transmission line, along an approximate bearing of 315°, for 789 ft,” the report said. “The right wing, the outboard left wing, both engines, both elevator controls, the rudder, the instrument panel, and forward cabin separated from the main fuselage and pieces were located in the debris field. The main wreckage consisted of the main fuselage and the inboard left wing.”
Two post office employees received minor injuries from glass debris inside of the building.
One driver was seriously injured after the airplane struck the car she was parked in. The car rolled several times before it came to rest upside down. The impact caused the vehicle to be engulfed in flames.
The investigation remains ongoing.