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NTSB: Arizona plane that killed two Utahns was flying low

Published July 31, 2014 4:13 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Littlefield, Ariz. • A federal investigator says the pilot of a small plane that crashed in far northwestern Arizona was flying well below what's allowed by regulation.

Newly licensed pilot, 19-year-old Daulton Whatcott, and his brother, 16-year-old Jaxon Whatcott — from Clinton, Utah — were headed to a basketball tournament in Nevada when the single-engine Cessna crashed near the Arizona-Utah border on July 20. The two brothers died.

National Transportation Safety Board investigator Larry Lewis said Thursday that motorists on Interstate 15 saw the plane hit a canyon wall, about 100 feet above the elevation of the road. Lewis says the plane should have been flying at a minimum 500 feet.

Preliminary information indicates the plane rounded a corner and turned upside down before striking the canyon wall and sparking a small fire.

A full report isn't expected for months.