NTSB releases preliminary report for plane crash that killed teen pilot and instructor in Nassau Co.

Yulee, FLa. — The National Transportation Safety Board released the preliminary crash report in the small plane crash that killed a teen pilot and her instructor in Nassau County on June 18.

RELATED: Plane crashes in St. Marys River on Florida-Georgia border, kills student and instructor

The report indicated the flight departed Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport (FHB) at 10:56 a.m. and headed northwest for about 7 miles over the St. Mary’s River.

The airplane then made several 360-degree turns at only 800 feet to 1,000 feet above sea level, according to the report. It also included that no air traffic control services were provided.

The last time the plane hit the radar return was just 300 feet from the crash site — at 800 feet above sea level.

In the report, witnesses standing at a nearby boat dock stated they saw the plane dive at near-vertical and nose-down into the St. Mary’s River. They also stated the engine was still running until it hit the water.

The aircraft then sank into about 17 feet of water, and no fire broke out after the crash, according to the report. All major structural parts of the aircraft were recovered and intact, including the propeller, and the wing flaps were found in the retracted position. All parts were taken to an aircraft salvage facility for further examination.

The NTSB reported this was only the student’s fifth flight, according to her pilot logbook. She had flown every time with the same instructor. The instructor had logged approximately 4,000 hours of flight time, according to the report.

RELATED: Flight instructor killed in plane crash was a Navy veteran; employer defends safety record

The Cessna 150L, N1300Q was purchased in December 2020 and was used entirely for instructional flights.

The NTSB stated in its report this information is only preliminary and is subject to change.

Bailey Husker

Bailey Husker, Action News Jax

Bailey Husker is a digital content producer and assignment editor for Action News Jax.