NTSB releases preliminary report in deadly Winter Haven plane crash

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The NTSB has released its preliminary report detailing what went wrong in the moments before a plane crashed into a Winter Haven home in February, killing the flight instructor, injuring another pilot on board and a third person on the ground.

According to the report, "no evidence of pre-impact mechanical malfunction was noted during the examination of the recovered airframe and engines."

Feb. 23, 64-year-old pilot/instructor James Wagner was set to take 33-year-old Timothy Sheehy up for flight instruction at Winter Haven Regional Airport.

According to the report, Wagner told Sheehy he'd be introducing "a simulated engine failure at some point during takeoff or climb out."

The plane left runway 23 at 12:39 p.m. Once at 200 to 300 feet, the report says "the instructor reduced the throttle on the left engine and the left engine stopped producing power, and the propeller feathered. They identified the failed engine, the instructor took over the flight controls, and selected a forced landing site."

"During the descent, the flight crew's engine restart procedures were unsuccessful and they determined that the airplane would not reach the selected forced landing site. The instructor then chose a lake to the airplane's left as an alternate site. During the left descending turn, the airplane slowed, the left wing dropped, and the airplane impacted a house, seriously injuring one of its occupants."

The crash killed Wagner. Sheehy suffered minor injuries. A 17-year-old girl inside the Idylridge Drive home miraculously survived after being pinned against the wall by the wreckage.

According to the report, "the flight instructor held an airline transport pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single and multi-engine land, and single- and multi-engine sea. He held a flight instructor certificate with ratings for airplane single- and multi-engine. His most recent FAA first-class medical certificate was issued January 25, 2019. He reported 15,000 total hours of flight experience on that date."

As for the five-seat, twin-engine, high-wing, amphibious airplane, "a review of the airplane maintenance records revealed that a 100-hr inspection was completed on February 23, 2019," the day of the crash.