Emergency crews search for access to the site of an Aug. 30 plane crash on the Eglin Air Froce Base reservation. The National Transportation Safety Board has released its initial report on the crash of the civilian Beech BE-60, in which foru people were killed. [FILE PHOTO/DAILY NEWS]

Report shows a potential discrepancy regarding aircraft's location.

EGLIN AFB — A preliminary National Transportation Safety Board report on the Aug. 30 civilian plane crash on the base's reservation that killed four people provides no specific information on the potential causes of the crash. However, the report points to a potential discrepancy between the pilot's last reported location and where the plane went down.

The plane, a Beechcraft BE-60, crashed about 10:30 a.m. in a wooded area near the interchange at state roads 123 and 85. That is about 2.5 miles northwest of Eglin Air Force Base itself and about 8.5 miles northwest of Destin Executive Airport, which had been the plane's destination, according to the NTSB report. The plane had left Ohio's Toledo Express Airport at 7:46 a.m. that morning, according to online flight tracking data.

All on board the airplane were killed in the crash. They have been identified as Henry Nowakowski, pilot of the aircraft; his wife, Patsy; his sister Carolyn and her husband, Tom Saine, all from the Toledo, Ohio area. They were reportedly en route to visit family in Destin. Those family members were notified of the deaths while awaiting arrival of the plane at Destin Executive Airport.

According to the preliminary NTSB report, Henry Nowakowski held a commercial pilot's license, and was in contact with the Eglin AFB control tower as he approached Destin Executive Airport, to say he had the Destin airport in sight.

"The pilot was then handed over to the DTS (Destin Executive) tower controller, where the pilot reported that he was about 2 miles north of DTS," according to part of the NTSB's preliminary report.

"There was no further communications between the pilot and air traffic control," reads the NTSB report.

According to the information in the preliminary NTSB report, the pilot's last report of his position, 2 miles north of Destin Executive Airport, differs substantially from the reported location of the crash, 8.5 miles northwest of Destin Executive Airport. At the time of the crash, the lowest clouds in the area were at 1,600 feet above ground level, and visibility was 10 miles

Keith Holloway, an NTSB spokesman, said the board would not have any comment on the potential discrepancy in the initial report. The initial report is simply a compilation of data surrounding the circumstances of the crash, he said, and not a detailed analysis of that data.

"We haven't analyzed it yet," Holloway explained. In addition to the NTSB investigator, two people from the Federal Aviation Administration's Flight Standards District Office in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, are involved in the investigation, along with a representative of Lycoming Engines, the airplane's engine manufacturer, and Textron Aviation, the airplane's manufacturer.

Elsewhere in the preliminary report, the NTSB said the Beech BE-60 was headed northeast when it struck trees near the final crash site, and left a path of wreckage stretching 380 feet. A number of large pieces of the plane, including its nose cone, a fuel tank and a section of the right wing, were among the larger pieces of the aircraft identified in the wreckage path.

"The airplane came to rest inverted," the report states, "with a post-crash fire consuming most of the cabin and inboard section of the wings."

It could be some time before a final report on the crash is released. In the immediate aftermath of the crash, NTSB spokesman Peter Knudson said it can sometimes take a year or more before a final report on a crash is released by the board.