The NTSB says the plane that crashed in Polk County Thursday killing a family of six was flying at an altitude of 25,000 feet. The pilot, Ron Bramlage, made a mayday call, and shortly after that, the plane crashed.
A nearby pilot says he overheard it, but that Bramlage never went into detail about what the emergency was.
Just a few minutes later, the plane crashed in an isolated area in Polk County.
Captain Carl Valeri is a commercial airline pilot. He says that mayday call means Ron Bramlage knew there was a problem.
But what was the problem?
"What was the mayday call, what was the distress call, was it a call that he lost his air speed indicator, was it a distress call that he had a problem with icing, did he have a problem mid flight, controlling the airplane?"
Capt. Valeri said the plane, a PC12, is a mid-size aircraft. He says it has a lot of technology on it, and anyone who flies it should get significant training, and be retrained often.
"If you don't' have a lot of experience, or you don't practice enough, unfortunately you might get overwhelmed. And if you get overwhelmed, it could have a bad result," Valeri said.
He believes the flight track shows Ron lost control of the aircraft and couldn't recover. The NTSB says the plane had structural separation on the right and left wings.
Capt. Valeri says that can happen if the plane is overstressed. He says it had to have been catastrophic for 13-year-old Boston to have been ejected from the plane.
"It must have been a very violent situation for all that to be happening, for someone to actually have left the aircraft," Valeri said.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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