Author: Associated Press
Published: 8:11 AM PDT April 12, 2019
Updated: 8:11 AM PDT April 12, 2019
MONTICELLO, Iowa — Federal investigators say a small plane crash that killed a 90-year-old pilot near an eastern Iowa airport was likely caused by the pilot's decision to allow his large dog near the flight controls.
The final National Transportation Safety Board report says investigators don’t know for certain what caused the single-engine aircraft to go down in a cornfield in June 2017 near Monticello Regional Airport. However, the report says, the dog that weighed about 75 pounds likely came in “contact with the flight controls during landing, which resulted in the pilot’s loss of airplane control.”
Television station KCRG reports that the dog survived the crash.
The pilot's son told the NTSB that his father routinely flew with his dog in the passenger seat and had installed a homemade plywood device to prevent the dog from inadvertently hitting the rudder pedals during flights.
The NTSB report says the plane was in good working order before crashing. Pilot Jerry Naylor of Scotch Grove, Iowa, was killed. An autopsy showed he died of multiple blunt-force injuries.