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Report on fatal plane crash could be weeks away

I’ve seen updates about 2019 Medford plane crashes, but what about the one that happened just last weekend? When will we get more info on how that crash happened?

— Archie, Medford

We haven’t forgotten about the Dec. 5 plane crash that killed Nevada residents Donald Harbert Sefton and Valorie Jean Serpa, but the National Transportation Safety Board has not yet divulged any new information about the crash investigation.

It could be another two weeks before the first NTSB crash report — known as the preliminary report — is released on the federal agency’s website, according to an email from an NTSB senior aircraft accident investigator. The investigator said Wednesday that the preliminary report “will be issued in the next 15 days.”

That preliminary report likely won’t have every detail. Based on what we’ve seen in prior crash investigations in Southern Oregon, preliminary reports are typically just a couple pages.

Full NTSB reports — like from the serious injury plane crash near the Prospect airport in January 2019 — typically take at least a year and a half to two years.

In fact, we’re still waiting for the full report on the Jan. 23, 2019, Erickson helicopter crash south of Ashland that killed 69-year-old Timothy Bruce Lyons of Port Bolivar, Texas.

What’s known from that NTSB preliminary report is that Lyons was piloting a Bell 206 helicopter to get flight time for the Oregon company’s insurance requirements when, for unknown reasons, the aircraft collided with trees while maneuvering near the Siskiyou Summit at 11:43 a.m. that day.

The helicopter had made “various low-level maneuvers” between the summit and the town of Hilt. Weather visibility was marginal at the time.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501 or by email to youasked@rosebudmedia.com.