Jasper plane crash New Year's Day


A preliminary federal investigation says the teenage pilot of a small airplane didn't have any radio contact before the aircraft crashed in Alabama on New Year's Day, killing three people.

The National Transportation Safety Board report released Thursday says authorities learned of the crash in Walker County after witnesses called 911.

The report doesn't say what caused the crash, in which a 17-year-old student pilot and two friends died.

The report backs up authorities who say the pilot took the twin-engine Piper airplane on a joyride and crashed.

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Federal Aviation Administration records show that a plane that crashed in Jasper killing three people wasn't currently registered to fly.

FAA records show HiFlight Aviation of Jasper bought the plane in May 2010. The company applied for registration, but the application was returned to HiFlight in June 2010 for correction. The FAA received no response and canceled the registration.

State business records show that HiFlight was organized in Jasper in 2010. A phone number given by the company at the time of registration is no longer active.


Federal authorities say a student pilot wasn't following regulations when he took off with two friends on a late-night flight that crashed in north Alabama and killed everyone aboard.


Jordan Smith's mother says he fell in love with flying at an early age and was just one test short of earning his private license when the small plane he was piloting crashed after taking off from a county airport northwest of Birmingham, Alabama.

Sherrie Smith disputes reports from officials that her 17-year-old son and two friends took the plane without permission Tuesday night. All three teens died in the crash.

She said Wednesday that the owner of the Piper PA 30 had given Jordan his own key to the plane and the code to a security gate behind which it was parked.