The two Arizona men killed Feb. 6 when their plane crashed at Casa Grande Municipal Airport were practicing flight maneuvers, including touch-and-go takeoffs and landings, according to the preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Administration.
The preliminary report indicates that Stephen Stafford, 51, of Green Valley was in the right pilot seat of the Beechcraft King Air. Stafford was a Federal Aviation Administration-certified flight instructor employed by Tucson Aeroservice Center.
Dr. Del Steinbronn, 65, of Tucson, an FAA-licensed pilot, was in the left pilot seat, according to the report. Steinbronn was a retired urologist.
No flight plan was filed by the two men, who had left Marana Regional Airport at about 10:30 the morning of the crash. The crash was first reported to Casa Grande emergency personnel at 11:28 a.m.
NTSB and FAA investigators said the plane hit the ground about 11 feet north of the midfield point of the runway at the Casa Grande airport.
“After initial ground contact with the left wing, the airplane then cartwheeled in a northwesterly direction for about 50 feet before coming to a rest upright ... perpendicular to and facing” the runway, the report states.
The plane immediately burst into flames.
The plane was registered to Sauo Aero Services of Tucson.
The two federal agencies continue their investigation of the accident. A final report on the crash is expected to be completed in about a year.