NTSB releases preliminary report on Earnhardt plane crash

(David Crigger/Bristol Herald Courier via AP)

ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. — The National Transportation Safety Board says part of the landing gear collapsed and a section of the right wing hit the runway as the plane carrying Dale Earnhardt Jr. touched down a third time during its crash in East Tennessee last week.

The NTSB released a preliminary report Friday essentially repeating the description investigators offered at a news conference last week.

Earnhardt, a NASCAR television analyst and retired driver, was with wife Amy, 15-month-old daughter Isla, two pilots and the family dog when their Cessna Citation Latitude crashed Aug. 15. The report says three passengers suffered minor injuries.

The report says the plane bounced twice during its landing, then continued airborne down the runway until touching down a third time with about 1,000 feet of paved surface remaining. The plane went through a chain-link fence before resting on the edge of Tennessee Highway 91.

The flight crew assisted passengers in evacuating through the main entry door.

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