Report: Plane fixed before crash with OSU coaches

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 18, 2013
A plane carrying two Oklahoma State University basketball coaches and a couple ferrying them to Arkansas for a recruiting trip was inspected and its muffler repaired about a week before it crashed, killing all four people on board, according to a report released this week. The single-engine plane had an annual inspection on Nov. 8, 2011 - a little more than a week before it crashed on Nov. 17, 2011, near Perryville, Ark., about 45 miles northwest of Little Rock, according to a National Transportation Safety Board report dated Thursday and sent to reporters Friday. ''During the annual inspection, the mechanic noted that the muffler was inspected, removed, weld repaired, and reinstalled,'' the report said. OSU women's basketball coach Kurt Budke and assistant coach Miranda Serna died in the crash on their way from Stillwater, Okla., to Little Rock, Ark., where they planned to scout prospective recruits. The pilot, former Oklahoma lawmaker Olin Branstetter, and his wife, Paula Branstetter, also died. The report did little to answer questions about why the plane crashed, but instead provided details about the plane and pilot's log books. A probable cause report is expected to come out in about three months. NTSB investigator Jason Aguilera did not respond to a phone message left Friday seeking comment. Weather has been ruled out as a factor, but it's still not clear whether the 82-year-old pilot had any medical issues that could have contributed to the crash. Autopsy results showed Branstetter's death was ''essentially instantaneous,'' but a medical examiner couldn't determine much else because his remains were in bad shape. Investigators said most of the plane's cockpit instruments were unreadable, unreliable or destroyed. The muffler didn't show any ''preimpact anomalies,'' according to the report. ''No preimpact anomalies with the airframe or engine were found which would have precluded normal operation,'' the report said. The NTSB report also confirmed what Branstetter's family said just days after the crash: He flew a lot. Branstetter's records showed he logged more than 2,200 flying hours, including more than 350 hours in the plane that crashed, according to the report. A flight log recovered from the wreckage contained flights on Oct. 25, 2011, Nov. 16, 2011, and a partial entry on the day of the crash. The report also noted that Branstetter, an OSU graduate, ''volunteered his flight services to assist with the athletic department's recruiting efforts, was not compensated for his flight time, and was not contracted by the university.'' About a year after the crash, Oklahoma State regents approved tougher oversight of the airplanes that any employee uses use on official business. The policy requires an aviation consultant to approve any private aircraft and the pilot. --- Follow Jeannie Nuss at http://twitter.com/jeannienuss
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Amar'e Stoudemire announces retirement after signing one-day contract with Knicks

Report: Gregory failed multiple drug tests since suspension

Olympian Abby Johnston: Worst thing about Olympic village is no Pokemon

Reggie Bush reportedly closing in on contract with Bills

Report: Eric Berry planning to no-show training camp

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Eagles could have interest in Gordon if Browns trade him

Report: Fitzpatrick, Jets not likely to have deal before camp

Report: Anquan Boldin signs one-year deal with Detroit Lions

Formula One CEO's mother-in-law kidnapped in Brazil

Mike McCarthy ends weight talk, declares Eddie Lacy ‘ready’

Report: Redskins have discussed possibly signing Hardy

Padres reportedly making progress on Cashner trade

NFL Network to stream on PlayStation Vue

Report: Eagles’ Nigel Bradham charged for assaulting cabana boy

Rudy Gay underwent minor Achilles procedure this summer

Bashaud Breeland brought puppies to Washington camp

Tyler Johnson 'threw up a couple of times' over $50M deal

Should the Yankees hold a fire sale?

Five young soccer players to keep an eye on at Rio Olympics

Conor McGregor's coach predicts result of Nate Diaz rematch

Jordy Nelson starts camp on PUP list, no reason for panic?

Mark Dantonio denies MSU negatively recruits against PSU

Brett Favre selects wife Deanna as his Hall of Fame presenter

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker