ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL/WKBN) – An initial report released by the Federal Aviation Administration revealed more about a plane crash involving Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his family.
Earnhardt Jr. and his family escaped with minor injuries after the crash Thursday at the Elizabethton Municipal Airport in Tennessee. The airport is used by many NASCAR racers.
The description in that FAA report reads, “Aircraft experienced hard landing, bounced, departed runway, and caught fire.”
NTSB officials arrived in Elizabethton Friday morning to investigate the crash.
They held a press conference Friday regarding the investigation. You can watch that above.
NTSB investigator Ralph Hicks of Atlanta Georgia said they expect investigators to be on site for two to three days, documenting evidence.
Hicks said they were able to obtain video surveillance from nearby businesses that showed the crash as it was happening.
The plane, traveling from Statesville, North Carolina, bounced at least twice before “coming down hard” on the right-wing landing gear, according to investigators.
Investigators said the airplane continued down the entire runway and eventually came to a stop on Highway 91.
Hicks said in Friday’s news conference that they were able to speak to both pilots of the plane, describing them as two “professionally-trained pilots.”
The plane was equipped with a cockpit voice recorder that will be analyzed by the NTSB as part of their investigation.
In the news conference, Hicks did say that the passengers on board, Dale Jr. and his family, were able to evacuate the plane before it caught fire.
Earnhardt retired as a full-time driver in 2017 and has been working as an analyst for NBC. He is part of the scheduled broadcast team for Saturday night’s Cup Series event in Bristol, Tennessee.
He plans to take the weekend off from broadcasting to spend time with his family.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.