Few answers: NTSB wraps architect's plane crash investigation
Over a year after the fiery private plane crash that killed a Charlottesville pilot-architect, the government investigation concludes with few additional answers. The National Transportation Safety Board reports what press accounts revealed in the earliest days: that shortly after take-off, Peter Sheeran was confronted with unresponsive controls inside the 1985 Piper Malibu that he owned with another pilot.
The NTSB report notes that the 59-year-old Sheeran had a skill-set that included instrument and multi-engine aircraft ratings, and there's no suggestion that he did anything wrong on March 30, 2010 when the plane became unmanageable shortly after takeoff from the Roanoke Regional Airport. At the time of his most recent FAA medical certification on December 3, 2008, Sheeran had 3,000 hours of total flight experience.
The report indicates that after Sheeran informed the tower about what he called "locked" controls, the plane lost altitude, hit a utility wire about 50 feet above the ground, and cartwheeled into a building. The lone passenger, seriously injured, was able to crawl free before fire consumed the fuselage.
As an architect, Sheeran focused on residential work in a range of styles including a vernacular country cottage in Free Union, a cubist house for an artist, and an airy Bahamian vacation home.