'Lower and slower': NTSB says speed of wrecked plane not consistent with trying to land

By Daniela Sternitzky-Di Napoli - Digital News Editor, Brittany Jeffers - Reporter

KERRVILLE, Texas - The National Transportation Safety Board held a news conference Tuesday concerning the plane crash near Kerrville that killed six people.

According to the NTSB, investigators are still working to determine what brought the plane down, but a preliminary report is expected to be released sometime next week. 

The NTSB said the full factual report could take 12-18 months.

During the news conference, NTSB officials said they are speaking to three witnesses who saw a spiraling plane. 

Officials said they are dealing with rocky terrain near the crash site.

Though they did not mention why the plane might have gone down, the NTSB did say the plane had a high vertical speed and low forward speed, which is inconsistent with trying to land. NTSB officials said the plane was about 2,000 feet above ground level, which is "lower and slower than you would expect" from a plane that was 6 miles away from its destination.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the twin-engine Beechcraft BE58 left from West Houston Airport around 9 a.m. Monday before crashing at a private ranch just 6 miles from the Kerrville Municipal Airport, where it was preparing to land.

RELATED: What we know about each of the people killed in the crash

Pilot Jeffrey Carl Weiss, 65, and all five of his passengers were killed in the crash.

"That was about 6 miles (from the final destination). So lower and slower than you would expect on a final (descent) on an aircraft like that," Mike Folkerts said.

Folkerts, who works with the NTSB, said the plane had a high vertical speed and low forward speed. Investigators don't believe Weiss was trying to land the plane.

Among the passengers were Angela Kensinger, a lacrosse coach from a Houston-area high school, her husband Stuart Kensinger (who was in real estate), an architect, the husband of the Houston Ballet artistic director and a landscaping business owner.

Investigators said the group was heading to Kerrville on a business trip.

Friends of the victims told KPRC2 they were headed there to look at property owned by the Kensingers. According to the Kerr Central Appraisal District, the family owns four plots of land in Hunt, Texas, which is about 20 to 30 minutes from the crash site.

Investigators with the FAA and NTSB are in charge of the investigation and are working to determine the cause of the crash. Initial reports showed that the aircraft came to rest upright and there was no fire at impact.

The NTSB said it does not know if a mayday call was made, but no components are missing from the wreckage and they do have engine data, which will help in the investigation. 

Robert Wilke is the owner of the property where the crash happened. He said deputies notified him about the crash. He said it was difficult to see the wreckage and he feels terrible for all of the families in Houston who are grieving.

"I just feel bad for the people that were in it and I hope they rest well,” Wilke said.

VIDEO: NTSB officials give update on deadly plane crash in Kerrville

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