NTSB: Loss of control, poor visibility caused fatal plane

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) — The National Transportation Safety Board is blaming the loss of control by the pilot and poor visibility for the April 2015 crash of a private plane in central Illinois that killed seven.

In the report released Wednesday, the NTSB says the pilot’s failure to maintain control resulted in the airplane “exceeding its critical angle of attack,” resulting in a stall.

The Pantagraph in Bloomington reports the NTSB investigation found “no evidence of (sleep loss) or medical conditions that indicated poor sleep quality for the Cessna 414A’s pilot, Tom Hileman.

However, the agency says at the time of crash near Central Illinois Regional Airport, the “extended hours of continuous wakefulness likely led to the development of fatigue.”

In addition to Hileman, the victims of the crash included Illinois State University associate basketball coach Torrey Ward and administrator Aaron Leetch. The plane was returning to Bloomington from the NCAA Tournament in Indianapolis.