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NTSB: Ebersol's jet not de-iced before crash

From Paul Courson
CNN

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National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
Air and Space Accidents
Dick Ebersol

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Snow, electrical problems and flight crew performance were all noted in an investigative report about the 2004 crash in Colorado of a corporate jet carrying NBC sports executive Dick Ebersol and his family members.

Ebersol told investigators that the jet crashed shortly after takeoff and never climbed higher than 50 feet, according to the report released Thursday by the National Transportation Safety Board.

The report is a fact-finding summary and is not intended to draw conclusions about what caused the crash in Montrose, about 175 miles southwest of Denver.

Ebersol, one of his sons and a co-pilot survived. However, another of Ebersol's sons, Teddy, was killed as were the pilot and a flight attendant. (Read what Teddy's mother told Oprah Winfrey)

Lead NTSB investigator Arnold Scott said after the crash that the plane was not de-iced.

"The captain did not ask to be de-iced, and he wasn't asked if he wanted to be de-iced," Scott said.

The jet's pilot and co-pilot told each other the wings looked clear before they took off in the icy November weather, according to a transcript of a cockpit voice recording. Airport workers told investigators they were not asked to de-ice the plane, the report states.

Ebersol told investigators that seconds after takeoff "slushy snow and lots of water" slid down from the aircraft's fuselage and across the windows, the report states.

Ebersol also said that he suspected the plane was having electrical problems "because the microwave, toaster oven, and toilet were not working," the report states.

The report does not indicate whether the surviving co-pilot, Eric Sloan Wicksell, who suffered severe burns in the crash, had been interviewed.

Ebersol's son Charles told investigators that he had to pull his father from the plane's wreckage after the plane crashed. Teddy's body was not found until the next day.

Notes from an investigator who interviewed both Ebersols said, "There was a lake of fire creeping away from the plane under the left wing tip" and "there was a ring a fire around the hole in the plane, burning."

Neither Ebersol recalled receiving any safety briefing from the crew before the flight took off, the report states.

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