Questions remain in fatal plane crash

An early report from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has shed some light on the small airplane crash that claimed two lives near Fredericksburg on Thursday, May 9.

The pilot had been concerned about bad weather going into the flight and the single-engine Cessna Skylane had plenty of fuel on board when it crashed, leading to a post-impact fire in a field near Hollmig Lane about one mile east/southeast of the Gillespie County Airport, according to the NTSB study.

Pilot Donald Frosch, 43, of Mansfield, had called air traffic controllers before the flight seeking weather updates and had told a Fort Worth Spinks Airport employee he was concerned about “beating the (bad) weather” to Fredericksburg after he and wife, Jeanne Frosch, 41, got a late start on their weekend trip here to celebrate their wedding anniversary.

In light of weather forecasts, Frosch filed an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan.

“What that means is that the pilot has filed with the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and he gets radar coverage as he flies along to geographical points or navigation aides,” said Gillespie County Airport Manager Roger Hansen.

If a pilot cannot view cloud ceilings that are 3,000 feet or above or the minimum three-mile visibility distance, then he files an IFR flight plan.

Frosch had done that and his IFR certification meant he had studied and tested more than required for a general private pilot’s license.

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