Michael Huber: Preliminary report details actions just before fatal plane crash in Jacksonville

ST. LUCIE COUNTY — The plane piloted by Fort Pierce dentist Michael Huber and carrying his two daughters was in radio and radar contact with air traffic control officials as Huber performed an "instrument landing system approach" to a runway at Jacksonville Executive Airport, according to a preliminary NTSB report.

Huber, 60, told air traffic control officials Dec. 8 "he was doing a missed approach and no further communications were received from the accident airplane," the report states.

Huber and his two daughters, Abigail Huber, 17, and 20-year-old Tess Huber, were found dead after the twin-engine plane crashed into a retention pond about a mile south of the airport.

In general terms, an instrument landing system approach means using instruments to help land, as opposed to relying solely on sight, Eric Weiss, a National Transportation Safety Board spokesman, said Friday.

A recently released preliminary NTSB report cites preliminary information from the Federal Aviation Administration in detailing actions just before the crash.

During the missed approach, Huber's Cessna 310R climbed from about 325 feet to 425 feet before it was lost by radar.

The crash happened about 6:20 p.m., roughly an hour after the plane left St. Lucie County International Airport in Fort Pierce. Visibility at the airport in Jacksonville shortly after the crash was reported as about 2.5 miles in mist, according to the preliminary NTSB report.

The wrecked plane was submerged and upright.

"The wing flaps were extended approximately 15 degrees and the landing gear was retracted," the report states.

Huber's most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued in August, and he reported a total flight experience of 1,600 hours at the time, the NTSB report states.

Weiss said the next step is gathering additional information, such as maintenance records, weather information and witness reports, to create a factual report.

A final report, with a probable cause, likely will follow soon after. The final report will take about a year to 18 months, Weiss said.

Services for the Hubers will be at 10 a.m. Sunday at Temple Beth El Israel in Port St. Lucie.

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