COLLEGEDALE, Tenn. (AP) -- An initial federal air safety report details an investigation into the death of a Chattanooga student pilot who fell from a newly-purchased plane.
WRCB-TV reported 77-year-old David Richardson, who plunged 2,500 feet to his death in Collegedale, had at one point unbuckled his seat belt.
The report from the National Transportation Safety Board states Richardson and his flight instructor had requested a battery boost to start the plane and Richardson unbuckled his belt to help a ground crew, but didn't get out of the cockpit.
The report said Richardson again buckled his harness and the instructor took off.
The canopy came off in flight, the plane dived and Richardson was thrown out.
The instructor regained control of the craft and landed it.
Information from: WRCB-TV, http://www.wrcbtv.com/