NTSB Report On Fatal Crash in Henderson Shows Pilot Not Certified to Carry Passengers

May 14, 2019

This Bellanca 17-30A may be similar to the one that crashed at Henderson City-County Airport on April 23. The student pilot, who was not certified to carry passengers and not endorsed by the FAA to pilot this type of aircraft, was killed in the crash, along with his passenger.
Credit Craig Kinzer / Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

A report from the National Transportation Safety Board about the crash of a small plane in Henderson, Kentucky shows the pilot was not supposed to be carrying passengers.

The crash killed two people and left questions about money and drugs found inside the wreckage.

The preliminary NTSB report shows the student pilot, 48-year-old George Tucker, had a Federal Aviation Administration certificate issued in February 2018 that specifically said “carrying passengers is prohibited.”

According to his logbook, he had a total of 24 hours of flight experience and was not endorsed to fly the type of complex, high performance airplane he was piloting when it crashed on April 23 at the Henderson City-County Airport.

The crash killed Tucker and his passenger, 47-year-old Barry Hill. Both men were from Sanford, North Carolina.

The NTSB report said the plane departed from Mid-Carolina Regional Airport in Salisbury, North Carolina, although no flight plan had been filed.

The airplane owner told investigators the plane was for sale, the student pilot was interested in buying it, and had flown it earlier in the day with a flight instructor.

Kentucky State Police reported that a duffel bag with a large sum of cash and a drug suspected to be cocaine were found inside the wreckage. A state police spokesman said the investigation is continuing.

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