BASEHOR, Kan. (WDAF) — The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released a preliminary report into a fiery plane crash that killed a Lansing man near Basehor, Kansas.
Investigators determined the plane’s left outer interplane strut was not correctly attached to the left lower wing compression strut following the crash.
A witness who helped 68-year-old Gary L. Knight with his preflight inspection on the day of the crash told NTSB investigators they didn’t experience any issues with the plane.
He said Knight gave him a “thumbs-up” and began to taxi.
The report shows during takeoff, the airplane veered to the left and almost hit a large hay bale sitting next to the runway. After clearing the hay bale, Knight flew back toward the runway. The tail of the plane dropped, and the airplane spun to the ground.
After crashing, the plane caught fire and burned.
The report shows Knight built the experimental AA Nieuport 28 airplane in 2016.
He had several other close calls with the plane and its engine, including a hard landing that fractured the landing gear in 2020.