DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Federal inspectors say metal fatigue created by frequent takeoffs and landings caused a wing to snap off a university's training plane last year, resulting in a 2018 crash that killed the student pilot and a flight examiner.
The National Transportation Safety Board said in a report released Wednesday that the Piper Arrow owned by Embry-Riddle University crashed April 4, 2018, after its left wing snapped off at 900 feet (274 meters). The 25-year-old pilot Zack Capra was performing takeoffs and landings at Daytona Beach International Airport for Federal Aviation Administration examiner John Azma. Both died.
The report said the 10-year-old plane had made 33,000 takeoffs in 7,700 hours of flight time -- about one every 15 minutes. That put extra stress on the wings, causing cracks in the support brackets.
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