Plane that crashed off Ocean City was destroyed on impact, NTSB report says

Associated Press

A preliminary report on a fatal plane crash off Ocean City last month has determined that the Cessna 172S was destroyed on impact after hitting the water.

The report issued Thursday by the National Transportation Safety Board noted other details leading up to the crash, but investigators are still piecing together what caused the plane with two passengers to crash.

The Daily Times of Salisbury reported that the NTSB report said the plane left from Martin State Airport. Preliminary radar data shows the plane descended from 2,000 feet to 700 feet before radar coverage was lost.

Maryland State Police were notified around 10 a.m. on March 1 that the plane en route to Ocean City had not arrived as anticipated.

A subsequent search of the area found what was described as an oil slick in the Atlantic Ocean, about a mile and a half from the Ocean City Airport. Natural Resources Police officers recovered debris in the water near the oil slick they believed to be associated with the plane.

By around 5 p.m., rescue personnel found a debris field about five miles away from the initial oil slick. They also located the plane and the body of one person, identified as Marcson Ngwa. He was taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for autopsy, officials said.

Officials called off the search effort shortly after, due to an impending storm. Dive teams picked up the search a week later, once the rough waters passed.

Passenger Benica Mesha Richards-Robinson, of Gwynn Oak, is still missing.

Baltimore Sun reporter Talia Richman contributed to this article.

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