NTSB: pilot error, fuel starvation caused plane crash that kille - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

NTSB: pilot error, fuel starvation caused plane crash that killed 4 relatives, 7-year-old survived

The crash site on Jan. 2, 2015. (Source: WSMV-TV) The crash site on Jan. 2, 2015. (Source: WSMV-TV)
LYON COUNTY, KY (KFVS) -

The National Transportation Safety Board has completed their investigation into a deadly plane crash that happened January 2, 2015 in Lyon County, Kentucky.

In its final report, the NTSB reports the probable cause of the accident is "the pilot's failure to properly set the left engine fuel selector before takeoff and to recognize the incorrect setting during the flight, which resulted in fuel starvation and a loss of engine power on both engines."

The pilot, Marty Gutzler of Nashville, Illinois, radioed air traffic control shortly before the crash and reported problems with both engines. He was flying a Piper PA34.

The only surviving passenger, 7-year-old Sailor, told investigators that the plane she usually flew in with her Dad was in the shop for maintenance.

According to Gutzler's flight plan he filed that day, Gutzler refueled, and calculated sufficient fuel for the trip.

The dual engine craft featured a set of fuel tank selectors which must be operated by a certain procedure specific to that model craft. 

Upon investigation, one of those selectors was in between the "on" and "off" positions.

Investigators learned Gutzler had only flown the plane a "handful of times."

The Gutzler family were on their way back to Illinois from a vacation in Key West, Florida.

Sailor was able to walk, barefoot, nearly a mile in frigid temperatures before finding a safe place to call for help.

Download the KFVS News app: iPhone | Android

Copyright 2016 KFVS. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly