KEARNEY, Mo. — Federal officials have shared more on the cause of a plane crash in Kearney this summer that left a Kansas pilot dead.
The National Transportation Safety Board released its preliminary report Wednesday on the deadly July 20 crash.
The Clay County Sheriff’s Office identified the pilot killed as 79-year-old Alan “Doug” Moler of Valley Center, Kansas.
Officials said he was headed to an airport in the Wichita area and had stopped at the Midwest Regional Air Center near Mosby to refuel.
The NTSB report says an unknown amount of fuel leaked from the right-wing tank. Photos from the NTSB show fuel leaking from the plane.
Shortly after taking off, the plane crashed into a field near NE 150th Street and Cordell and burst into flames. Emergency responders said the plane carried over 100 gallons of fuel at the time of the crash, which contributed to the large fire.
A witness told investigators he heard a loud airplane headed toward his home. It hit two power lines and a large tree in his yard before crashing into the field.
The NTSB report says two weeks before the crash, multiple witnesses said the engine was difficult to start and wouldn’t produce full power. They also said the fuel tanks “horribly” leaked.