Safety board to listen to Wellstone crash tapes
by Larry Oakes, Minneapolis - St. Paul Star Tribune, 2 November 2002
Investigators probing the crash that killed U.S. Sen. Paul Wellstone and seven others in Eveleth, Minn., on Oct. 25 have yet to determine which of the two pilots was flying the plane or even who talked to control towers on the radio.
"The air traffic control tapes will be listened to in the next couple of days," National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Keith Holloway said Friday.
He also said the plane's badly burned condition may make it impossible to ever know whether it struck a bird or flock of birds.
Investigators are still reviewing maintenance records on the plane, a Beechcraft King Air A100, and the pilots' work histories, he said, adding that two members of the NTSB's Operations Group were still in Minnesota on Friday. The group is researching the owners and operators of the plane -- Beech Transportation and Executive Aviation of Eden Prairie.
Asked whether the NTSB is concerned about a news report that Capt. Richard Conry served time in a federal prison camp for mail fraud, Holloway said: "Unless how the plane was operated becomes an issue, a pilot's criminal record would be going beyond our jurisdiction."
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