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Preliminary report gives no explanation or conclusion on cause of deadly crash in Indiana

The preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board report offered no explanations or conclusions about the cause of the March 17 plane crash that killed former University of Oklahoma quarterback Steve Davis and Tulsa businessman Wes Caves.
BY PHILLIP O'CONNOR poconnor@opubco.com Modified: April 5, 2013 at 8:54 pm •  Published: April 6, 2013

About 4:15 p.m. on March 17, a business jet carrying Oklahoma football legend Steve Davis and three others had just descended to 3,000 feet and was making a gentle left-hand turn to line up with a South Bend, Ind., airport runway when the pilot declared an emergency.

We're “dead stick” and without any power, the pilot told an air traffic controller.

About 20 seconds later, the pilot radioed again, saying, “We've lost all power and we have no hydraulics.”

Asked if the plane was still controllable, the pilot responded, “Ah, barely controllable.”

The airport was still 9 miles away.

The controller gave the pilot permission to land on any runway, provided wind conditions and told the pilot to turn 10 degrees to the left.

“26DK, turning left.”

It was the last communication from the doomed flight. Moments later, after two aborted landing attempts with the landing gear only partially deployed, the twin-engine Hawker Beechcraft 390 plummeted into a residential neighborhood.

Killed in the crash were Davis, 60, the former OU quarterback, and his friend, Tulsa businessman Wes Caves, 58. The plane's two other passengers, Jim Rodgers and Stan May, and a person on the ground suffered injuries that were not life-threatening.

Cause not given

The final radio transmissions from the flight were included in a preliminary report issued Friday by the National Transportation Safety Board.

The conversations were captured on the black box cockpit voice recorder recovered at the crash site.

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