NTSB releases report on fatal Door Co. plane crash

Posted at 10:02 PM, Sep 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-05 13:13:12-04

Update Oct. 5, 2016:

The National Transportation Safety Board released the following report on the Sept. 18 plane crash:

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On Sept. 18, 2016, about 2032 central daylight time, a Cessna 182T airplane, N2012F, impacted terrain during a visual approach to the Ephraim-Gibraltar Airport (3D2), Ephraim, Wisconsin. The pilot and student pilot were fatally injured and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to and operated by Keller Aviation LLC under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which departed from Green Bay-Austin Straubel International Airport (GRB), Green Bay, Wisconsin on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan at 2003. 

According to friends of the pilot, he ferried the student pilot from 3D2 to GRB so she could take a flight lesson. On their return flight from GRB, the pilot canceled IFR at 2024 during the descent into 3D2. About 3,500 ft prior to the Runway 14 threshold, the airplane impacted 50 ft high trees. The airplane came to rest about 210 ft beyond the initial tree strike and a post-crash fire ensued.

= = =
Update: 10:38 AM: Door County Authorities report Ralph L. Keller, 69 of Sister Bay and La Grange Park, Illinois, and 16 year-old Olivia M. Dahl of Sister Bay died in Sunday's plane crash in Door County.
For many in this area of Door County, it's a difficult reality to grasp.
"It just hurts," said Larry Perkins, who knows Olivia's family and has 50 years of flying experience as a pilot.
The Door County Sheriff's Office said Dahl was a flying enthusiast and was taking lessons to earn her pilots license in Green Bay. Keller was the owner of the plane and was flying Dahl back to Door County when the plane went down in Peninsula State Park.
The Sheriff's Office said someone called 911 just after 8:30 p.m. saying they saw a plane circling Peninsula State Park near the Ephraim-Gibraltar airport, then heard a crash. A person biking in the state park located the wreckage near Highland Road around 10 p.m.. 
"We were contacted by families who were concerned," said Pat McCarty, Chief Deputy with the Door County Sheriff's Office. "The two had left the Ephraim-Gibraltar airport around 5 p.m."
Eight different departments responded to the crash.
Authorities believe the two were heading back to the Ephraim-Gibraltar airport when something went wrong with the plane. The cause of the crash is still under investigation. The FAA arrived Monday morning to investigate as well.
Many people in Sister Bay and the surrounding area told NBC26 that Dahl had a bright future ahead of her.
"Wonderful family, it's just a terribly unfortunate thing," said Perkins.
Dahl was a student at Gibraltar Secondary School. The district told NBC26 that it plans to send a press release Tuesday with more information about plans to help students cope with the difficult loss. 
Door County Sheriff’s Deputies confirm to NBC26 there were no survivors in the plane crash.
They would not tell our crews how many people were on board.  The plane crashed in Peninsula State Park and the area is closed.
According to deputies the crash is under investigation and the FAA is on the way to the scene.
The sheriff’s office said they were notified about the missing plane at 8:38 p.m. Sunday and located the crash at 9:55 p.m. 
The sheriff's office will not release any addition information until later Monday morning. 
UPDATE: The U.S. Coast Guard confirms to NBC26 a plane crashed near Ephraim harbor. 
Door County dispatch confirms there is a search underway Sunday night for a possible missing aircraft.
They are responding to a report of sounds that may have been an aircraft going down near Ephraim.
NBC26 has a crew on the way and will bring you more information as it becomes available.