RICHMOND HEIGHTS, OH (WOIO) - A loss of control shortly after takeoff seems to be what caused a Cessna 172R airplane to collide with the terrain in Willoughby Hills, according to the NTSB preliminary report.
The pilot, William Felten reserved the airplane from T&G Flying Club at 8:22 p.m. using an online reservation system.
At 9:46 p.m., the pilot William Felten, called ground control for a takeoff taxi clearance stating he was on the ramp south of the Flight Club. The pilot was repeatedly asking the controller for taxi clearance and stating his radio was a little "fuzzy".
About four minutes later, the controller informed the pilot he was taxiing to the wrong runway. After asking the controller to repeat what he said, the pilot stated "Thank you, I'm sorry. He then approached runway 6.
Felten said he would be flying east to go sightsee and would be back in a little while. The controller gave him takeoff clearance.
At 9:58 p.m., Felten radioed that they weren't climbing fast and wanted to make an immediate left turn to turn around. That was approved and it appeared the airplane began a left turn when it descended to the ground.
The airplane impacted the ground, a chain link fence, a guy wire, and a telephone pole prior to coming to rest about 1,000 feet past taxiway Alpha 6. A post impact fire ensued.
Felten's passengers included Lucas Marcelli, 20, of Massillon, OH, along with Abraham Pishevar, 18, of Rockville, MD and John Hill, 18, of Saint Simons, GA. All four CWRU students died.