NTSB says Pilot Error Caused Crash that Killed Dr. Stephen Hatch, Wife

By Eric Olson

April 23, 2012 Updated Apr 23, 2012 at 1:59 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Indiana (Indiana's NewsCenter)-The National Transportation Safety Board’s final report on the June, 2011 airplane crash that killed Dr. Stephen Hatch, his wife and seriously injured his son Austin was the result of a stall due to inadequate air speed.

Hatch’s single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza crashed June 24th as it approached Charlevoix (Mich.) Municipal Airport after diverting from two other nearby airports.

The NTSB report also said Hatch failed to follow proper protocol after his first attempt at a landing, which contributed to the accident.

The Hatch family was flying from Fort Wayne’s Smith Field to the family’s summer home near the town of Boyne Falls in northern Michigan. The plane slammed into a garage in a neighborhood near the Charlevoix airport about 30 miles northwest of Boyne Falls.

Stephen Hatch was an anesthesiologist and partner in Pain Management Associates. He was piloting a similar plane in 2003 that crashed, killing his then-wife and two children. Austin Hatch also survived that crash.

Austin Hatch had made a verbal commitment to play basketball at the University of Michigan just weeks before the crash. He was in a medically induced coma for weeks and has since returned to Fort Wayne.




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