NTSB report: Pilot fell out of plane, hit the tail before Pennsylvania crash

The NTSB investigation of a 2022 crash in Pennsylvania concluded that Ronald Snyder, 76, of Bernville, Pennsylvania, was flying the “experimental amateur-built” Bearhawk Patrol plane that crashed on Oct. 29, 2022, at a farm near Hanover Township, Pennsylvania.

The pilot of an experimental aircraft either fell or was pitched out of his plane, striking the aircraft’s tail and causing it to crash, killing him and his passenger, the National Transportation Safety Board said in a report last week.

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The NTSB investigation of the 2022 crash in Pennsylvania concluded that Ronald Snyder, 76, of Bernville, Pennsylvania, was flying the “experimental amateur-built” Bearhawk Patrol plane before it crashed on Oct. 29, 2022, at a farm near Hanover Township, Pennsylvania.

The report said it was likely that Snyder had unbuckled his seatbelt to look at an issue with the plane’s rigging that seemed to cause it to “kick’ while turning.

Snyder and his passenger, Michael Bowen, 59, or Jonestown, Pennsylvania, had the plane up for several minutes before it crashed.

The NTSB report speculated that Snyder either was trying to look at a problem with the tail and fell out of the plane or “displaced a flight control,” which “caused an abrupt pitching movement that ejected him from the airplane.”

Snyder hit the tail section when he fell out of the plane, damaging it. Bowen, who was also a pilot, was not able to regain control of the plane, the NTSB report said.

Witnesses told the agency that the airplane ‘rolled’ then ‘bucked’ as its nose ‘dipped down initially,’ then pitched up ‘quickly.

“Several witnesses reported seeing the pilot out of the airplane at this time, and one reported seeing the pilot impact and then spiral off the airplane’s tail. Witnesses then observed the pilot and airplane descend to the ground.”

The plane crashed about 100 feet from where children were on a hayride at a farm, NBC News reported. However, no one on the ground was hurt.

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