NTSB releases final report of Dec. 2012 Greensburg plane crash that killed 4

GREENSBURG, Ind. - The National Transportation Safety Board released a final report Tuesday into the cause of the fatal Greensburg crash that killed four people in Dec. 2012.

The report said the Piper PA-46 crashed while trying to land at the Greensburg Municipal Airport.
Don Horan, of Greensburg, was flying the plane that crashed on Dec. 2 as he was flying back from Florida with his wife, Barb, and another couple, Stephen and Denise Butz.

Tuesday's report confirmed that Horan "appeared to try to abort the landing but lost control of the plane due to spatial disorientation."

The weather was foggy and misty, but the lights on the runway were functioning properly, and the plane and engine were in working order, NTSB officials said.

"However, during periods of low visibility, the supporting senses sometimes conflict with what is seen. When this happens, a pilot is particularly vulnerable to spatial disorientation. Spatial disorientation to a pilot means simply the inability to tell which way is up," the report read.

The report indicated that another pilot had flown the same flight in a similarly equipped plane 30 minutes earlier. The pilot attempted to perform the same approach but decided instead to divert his aircraft to the Columbus airport, where he landed safely.

Air traffic controllers in Indianapolis spoke with the pilot who crashed when he was just four miles away from his scheduled landing.

The last few seconds of recorded data indicated that the airplane entered a descending left turn.

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