NTSB blames parachute system failure in fatal plane crash

RHOADESVILLE, Va. (AP) – A federal agency is blaming poor design on the failure of a parachute system to prevent a small plane crash in Virginia, killing the two men on board. The National Transportation Safety Board, in a September report, says the plane lost control on May 24, 2016, in Orange County. The pilot, 57-year-old Charles Caldwell of Apopka, Florida, and his flight instructor, 81-year-old John Quinn Jr. of Culpeper, Virginia, were killed in the crash. The NTSB did not say what caused the plane to lose control. But the report said Caldwell and Quinn tried to activate a parachute capable of carrying the plane. The report said Caldwell was likely impaired by medication, including sedatives and an opioid. But the report says investigators didn’t find evidence that this contributed to the crash.

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