BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (WKRN) —The investigation into what caused a plane to crash in Brentwood Tuesday morning is still ongoing.
National Transportation Safety Board Air Safety Investigator Brian Rayner arrived on the scene Tuesday afternoon.
“I’ve got an engine expert here with me, I’ve got an airframe expert on its way, and I have three inspectors from the FAA,” he said.
Rayner says the pilot was flying a Piper PA-32 and was based in Springfield, Tennessee.
“(He) was on his way to Smyrna, Tennessee to have some maintenance performed… I think some new equipment installed,” he said. “He was looking to upgrade his instrument panel.”
Rayner says while the pilot was flying he reported to air traffic control he was having engine problems.
“The flight track that I saw observed the plane had flown south of Nashville and then turned around to perform an approximate 180-degree turn,” he said “He headed back to Nashville International [Airport], and the pilot elected to land where he did.”
Rayner says there were fields on either side of his plane as he was coming into Brentwood, but the plane struck wires and trees above the road.
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“A good portion of the airplane is still suspended in the trees,” he said. “That wreckage is entangled with powerlines. There’s wreckage beneath that area and the main portion was heavily damaged by a post-crash fire.”
Rayner says the site isn’t safe to continue working this evening so they will resume their investigation in the morning.
At this time, the NTSB still does not know what caused the plane to crash, but Rayner says they will look at all factors.
“We’ll look at the pilot’s qualifications,” he said. “We’ll look at his total experience, his recent training, anything like that.”
Old Smyrna Road will remain closed off to the public because Rayner says the site is still very unsafe.
“There are big pieces suspended in the trees,” he said. “There are broken wires suspended in the trees, there are broken branches still suspended in the trees.”
The NTSB has confirmed the pilot was a man but is not releasing his name at this time.