Diamond Flying LLC was operating the airplane under the provisions of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91, the report said. The commercial pilot and three passenger sustained fatal injuries; the airplane sustained substantial damage. The local flight was departing from St. George with a planned destination of Mesquite, Nevada. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed, according to the report.
A review of the recorded security camera footage at the airport revealed that the airplane could be seen in the nighttime conditions by the blinking left-wing strobe light and the navigation light mounted on the tail. The airplane appeared to depart from runway 19 and maneuver at a low altitude for the length of the runway while increasing its airspeed. Near the end of the runway, the airplane began a rapid ascent and continued out of the view of the camera. About seven seconds later, the airplane reappears further down the frame in a rapid descent, the report said.
The accident site was located in the hard dirt area (the southerly primary surface) adjacent to the departure end of runway 19. Situated on the level terrain, the airplane came to rest upside down and was oriented on a 315-degree magnetic bearing (northwest). The main wreckage, which consisted of a majority of the airframe and engine, was located about 525 feet from the edge of the runway's center point.
The first identified point of impact was a ground scar impression about 40 feet from the main wreckage that dimensionally and geometrically resembled the wings with a crater-like impression in between. The span of the ground disturbance was about 36.5 feet, with red lens fragments located near the east side and green fragments on the westerly side; the airplane's wingspan was 36.1 feet. Imbedded in the center crater was a portion of a propeller blade and the nose wheel. In the debris field from the ground scar to the main wreckage was the oil sump, the propeller, and engine accessories.
A routine aviation weather report (METAR) generated by an Automated Surface Observation System (ASOS) at the airport, indicated that about 5 minutes prior to the accident the conditions were as follows: wind was from 260 degrees (west) at 9 knots; temperature 66 degrees Fahrenheit; dew point 28 degrees Fahrenheit; and altimeter 29.60 inHg.
The men who died in the crash were Colby Chester Hafen, 28, and Christopher Jordan Chapman, 20, both of Santa Clara; Tanner James Holt, 23 of Washington City; and Alexander James Metzger, 22 of St. George.
A final report by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will take several months.