Preliminary crash report released on June plane crash in Mercer

MERCER, Tenn. — The National Transportation Safety Board has released a preliminary report on a June 21 plane crash in Mercer.

The Associated Press identified the pilot as Memphis businessman George Cates.

The report says the plane, a Cirrus SR227, was flying from Memphis International Airport to Asheville Regional Airport in North Carolina when it crashed about 10 miles from McKellar-Sipes Regional Airport.

The pilot told controllers that he began experiencing engine issues the report says indicated manifold pressure issues, but the report says the pilot did not declare an emergency at that time.

The report says the pilot later indicated he planned to land in a field.

The controller asked the pilot if he planned to use the parachute, and the pilot indicated that he did not plan to use the parachute because he was landing, according to the report. The report says there was no additional communication with the pilot after that.

To read the full report, click here.

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