NTSB releases new details after South Dakota's deadliest plane crash

 Courtesy of National Transportation Safety Board.
Courtesy of National Transportation Safety Board. (KSFY)
Published: Dec. 2, 2019 at 6:15 PM CST
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The National Transportation Safety Board is still piecing together information in rural Brule County Monday after a plane crash near Chamberlain that killed nine people Saturday.

Those on board were traveling back home to Idaho Falls, Idaho after an annual pheasant hunting trip. The NTSB released an update late Monday afternoon saying the pilot purchased 150 gallons of Jet A fuel from an automated pump then the plane remained parked until the day of the accident.

The pilot filed an instrument flight plan with the FAA to fly directly from Chamberlain to Idaho Falls, but the plane didn't make it more than a mile.

"This has really shook us to our core," Associate Professor in Aviation at South Dakota State University, Cody Christensen said.

The South Dakota aviation community is left feeling unsettled after one of the deadliest plane crashes in South Dakota’s history.

"This is by far the most deadly event that I’ve seen in South Dakota in my time," Christensen said.

Monday he put his aviation students to the test making this accident a teaching moment.

"Anytime we're teaching students to take off in these weather conditions we always want to take a step back and look at the big picture to determine if it's the right time to go," Christensen said.

Here's everything we know so far:

The Hansen, Dennert, and Naylor family members were on a hunting trip staying at the Thunderstik Lodge in Chamberlain. It’s somewhere they've been going for years.

The plane departed at 12:26 p.m. Saturday, but when the pilot didn't activate the flight plan the FAA issued an alert for a missing plane. Shortly after the plane crashed.

12 people were on board the plane and only three survived. They are now recovering at a Sioux Falls hospital.

We learned the identities of the family including brothers Jim and Kirk Hansen, two prominent men in the Idaho Falls community who founded the nutritional and wellness products company Kyani.

The night of flight weather conditions was not ideal. The plane took off from the Chamberlain Municipal Airport while the area was under a winter storm warning.

The Weather Observation Station said the winds were moving at seven miles per hour with moderate snow and icing with clear air turbulence conditions.

Christensen said if the plane wasn't properly heated in a hangar the wings could have been coated with ice.

"We're going to make sure that there's no snow or ice on any of the aircraft as well especially on the wings and the other control surfaces," Christensen said. "Our hearts really go out to the survivors and all of the family members."

Investigators are expected to complete their work in Chamberlain by this weekend. The NTSB is still in the early stages of the investigation and is expected to release a report of their findings in two weeks.