REPORT: Damaged Cylinder, Piston To Blame For Plane Crash That Killed Three
By Travis Thayer
(Batesville, Ind.) – More details have been released regarding a small plane crash that killed three people this past December in Franklin County.
It was December 16 went the single-engine Cessna went down near the Batesville Airport as the three-person crew was making a day trip from Kansas City to Maryland.
On board were Louis Cantilena and Paul Schuda, both majors with the Civil Air Patrol, an auxiliary to the U.S. Air Force, Cantilena’s daughter Amy, and two dogs.
According to the National Transportation Safety Board Aviation Accident Preliminary Report, the accident is blamed on damage to the number four cylinder and piston.
Records show Cantilena purchased fuel at the Columbus Airport at 8:32 p.m. After takeoff, the plane headed east. The pilot, Louis Cantilena, was told by a controller to go to 11,000 feet, but the plane reached just 7,450 feet before starting a gradual descent.
Shortly after, Cantilena called “mayday,” stating the plane was experiencing partial engine failure.
At that point, the plane was just a few miles from Batesville Airport, which shut down operations just days prior – meaning no runway lighting was available.
The plane overshot the runway by about 1.5 miles and went down in a wooded area near North Hamburg Road.
All three people and one dog aboard sustained fatal injuries. A second dog was the sole survivor of the crash.