Two people died in a small plane crash Sunday in Allegan County's Manlius Township (Jan. 17, 2010)
Updated: Saturday, 06 Nov 2010, 2:47 PM EDT
Published : Saturday, 06 Nov 2010, 2:47 PM EDT
MANLIUS TOWNSHIP, MIch. (AP) - A National Transportation Safety Board report suggests pilot fatigue might have contributed to a Jan. 17 crash that killed two Hope College students .
The Holland Sentinel reported Saturday that the NTSB investigation showed 20-year-old passenger Emma Biagioni of St. Charles, Ill., sent a text message to 23-year-old pilot David Otai of Nairobi, Kenya, the night before the crash asking whether he'd be rested for the flight after he said he was going out with friends.
The NTSB report shows Otai received or made calls or text messages every hour from 6 p.m. that night until 3:12 a.m. the day of the crash. The report says he and Biagioni arrived at the airport about 8 a.m. Their Cessna 172N aircraft crashed in a field near Tulip City Airport after 11 a.m.
In early 2010, the NTSB released a preliminary report on the plane crash indicating that the pilot got disoriented in bad weather before he crashed in a snow-covered field on January 17. According to that report, a lineman heard an airplane make three passes over the Tulip City airport but couldn't see it. On another pass, the witness saw the Cessna Skyhawk 172 flying east to west about 50 feet above the ground and that the plane "barely cleared the trees."
Otai then called Muskegon approach control and said he had gotten "lost in the fog" and needed "an emergency IFR back to Tulip City."
The plane crashed shortly after