CALIFORNIA (From news reports) -- A preliminary accident report reveals what happened in the moments before a plane carrying employees of a metro Atlanta-based paper and packaging company crashed and burst into flames in California last month.
Ten people, including Graphic Packaging International Chief Executive Officer Michael Doss, were aboard the charter flight at Oroville Municipal Airport north of Sacramento on Aug. 21.
Seven members of the company's executive staff and two pilots were also aboard, GPI spokeswoman Sue Appleyard said.
The group had been visiting the company's plant in Oroville and were leaving to visit a facility in Oregon about 10:30 a.m. local time when the plane went off the runway during takeoff, she said.
A report by the National Transportation Safety Board said the Cessna Citation taxied on the runway and went through a "before takeoff" checklist. When that checklist was complete, the pilot prepared to take off, the report said.
However, the pilot reported "a weird sensation." He said he pulled back on the yoke, but the airplane didn't lift off the runway. He tried a second time, but the nose of the plane didn't move, the report said.
"Shortly after, the non-flying pilot called for an abort, and the pilot flying applied a full thrust reversers and maximum braking," the report said.
That's when the plane left the runway, hit a ditch, skidded into the grass and caught fire.
Once the fire was extinguished, only the shell of the burned plane and about a half-acre of singed grass remained.
Everyone got out in time and were uninjured. Appleyard said the staff, many of whom are based in Atlanta, flew back home.
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