CINCINNATI -- An investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board confirmed Thursday that a twin-engine Cessna airplane that crashed Wednesday, killing four people, was loaded with the wrong type of fuel.
William Cooper, an NTSB investigator, said 60 percent of the fuel in the plane's tanks was jet fuel.
The plane is designed to burn aviation gasoline. Cooper said with that much jet fuel in its tanks, it could not have flown more than nine or 10 minutes before encountering problems.
The plane crashed into a heavily wooded area about 10 miles outside downtown Cincinnati and burst into flames only minutes after taking off from Lunken Airport. The pilot, lawyer James Hutton, his wife Susan, Cincinnati lawyer John Getgey and his wife, Pat were killed in the crash.
The four were headed for a bar association convention in Williamsburg, Va.
Hutton's law partner, William Shaffer, said Thursday the plane's owner, Mobile Home Estates of Bryan, Ohio, was told by the NTSB that 61.6 gallons of jet fuel were pumped into the plane's tanks at Lunken.
The plane was fueled at Tony Maier Aviation Service at Lunken just before takeoff. Maier refused to comment on the matter.
Cooper said incidents in which planes are loaded with the wrong type of fuel occur regularly. He explained there are no special fuel nozzles or fuel tank openings to prevent mixups. The general Aviation Manufacturers Association has proposed that aircrafts be fitted with such devices.