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Plane that crashed near Geauga County Airport had engine damage, NTSB report says

None of the passengers were injured, but the plane suffered "substantial damage," according to the NTSB report.

CLEVELAND — The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released its preliminary report of last month's plane crash near Geauga County Airport in Middlefield.

The Piper Model AP-31-350 aircraft was transporting pilot Robert Keleti, four agents from the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and inmate Carl Lee Jasperse from Youngstown to Detroit. The plane was set to pick up another passenger at Willow Run Airport in Detroit before moving on to Minneapolis.

As the aircraft climbed to about 6,000 feet, Keleti observed oil leaking from the right engine nacelle. When the plane reached 7,400 feet, Keleti noted a loss of right engine power. He declared an emergency and requested permission to divert to the nearest airport, which was Geauga County Airport. 

Keleti was able to complete his approach to the airport, but determined that he would not be able to stop the plane before it reached the end of the runway. He opted not to abort the landing and the plane overran the runway, went into a grassy area, impacted a hill and fence before coming to rest 600 feet beyond the runway.

None of the passengers were injured, but the plane suffered "substantial damage," according to the NTSB report. All three of the plane's landing gears collapsed and the plane sustained heavy damage to the wings and fuselage. 

The NTSB noted in its examination of photographs that there were "cracks in the (right) engine crankcase." For context, NASA defines a crankcase as the "body that holds all of the other engine parts together." The report also stated the plane had "substantial wrinkling" of the fuselage and both wings, as well as torn flight control surfaces.

FAA and maintenance records show that the plane, owned by Pablo Air Charters LLC of New Freedom, Pennsylvania, was manufactured in 1977. The airplane’s most recent 100-hour inspection was completed in December, while the right engine had accrued 1,662.5 total hours since its last major overhaul.

You can read the NTSB preliminary report below:

The inmate aboard the plane was 67-year-old Carl Lee Jasperse, who is serving a 102-month prison term after pleading guilty to distribution and possession of child sexual abuse material in 2021. 

The U.S. Department of Justice says Jasperse, who went by the screen name "Dandy Daddy," used a mobile application to communicate with individuals about child sexual abuse material and trade the same. Jasperse was found to be in possession of more than 4000 images and videos of child sexual abuse material when a search warrant was executed at his Lantana, Florida residence in January 2021. 

The NTSB's update on the Geauga County Airport crash comes on the same day as its preliminary report on last month's New York plane crash that claimed the lives of two Northeast Ohio men.

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