NTSB releases report on crash that killed 90-year-old Iowa pilot

Published: Apr. 9, 2019 at 7:10 PM CDT
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A dog's "likely contact with the flight controls" led to a fatal plane crash near Monticello in 2017, federal authorities said in a report, released on Monday.

The National Transportation Safety Board released its full report on the crash that killed 90-year-old Jerry Naylor in late June of 2017. Naylor's Flight Design CTSW light sport airplane went down in a cornfield near the Monticello airport.

The pilot's dog, a 70-75 pound animal, was inside the aircraft and survived. The NTSB report suggested the dog likely caused the pilot to lose control of the plane as it landed.

"Given the ground track and engine data," the report said, "it is likely that the dog contacted the aileron and/or stabilator controls during landing, which resulted in the pilot's loss of airplane control and a subsequent aerodynamic stall at a low altitude when the airplane exceeded its critical angle of attack."

The report noted that Naylor frequently flew with his dog and had outfitted the aircraft with a "homemade, removable, plywood device to prevent the right-seat passenger (or his dog) from inadvertently contacting the rudder pedals during flight."

"Although the device was not approved to be installed in the airplane," the report said, "there was no evidence that it interfered with the full movement of either control stick or the pilot-side rudder pedals."

Naylor's cause of death was attributed to "multiple blunt-force injuries" sustained during the crash.

Federal authorities believed Naylor's plane was in working order at the time of the crash.

Correction: A prior version of this story neglected to mention the NTSB's belief that Naylor's dog contributed to the crash.