Advertisement

New details in Nashville plane crash that killed Canadian family

Victor and Rimma Dotsenko pose in this undated photograph with their three children, David, Adam and Emma. (UMCA Rich Tree Academy/@umcaschool - image credit)
Victor and Rimma Dotsenko pose in this undated photograph with their three children, David, Adam and Emma. (UMCA Rich Tree Academy/@umcaschool - image credit)

A new report has revealed details about what led to the crash of a plane flying from Canada to Nashville earlier this month, claiming the lives of everyone onboard — five members of an Ontario family.

Nashville police said after the crash that the pilot was 43-year-old Victor Dotsenko from King Township, roughly 50 kilometres north of Toronto. Dotsenko's wife, 39-year-old Rimma, and their three children, David, 12, Adam, 10, and Emma, 7, were also killed in the crash.

According to the preliminary findings of the United States National Transport Safety Board (NTSB), the airplane departed from Brampton-Caledon Airport and made stops at Erie International Airport in Pennsylvania, and Mount Sterling/Montgomery County Airport in Kentucky.

The NTSB said the crash happened on the third flight leg of the day, from Kentucky to John C. Tune Airport in Nashville, about 289 kilometres away.

The airplane’s flight track in yellow as it overflew JWM.
The airplane’s flight track in yellow as it overflew JWM.

The airplane’s flight track in yellow as it overflew JWM. (NTSB)

Dotsenko overflew Nashville's John C. Tune Airport and later radioed a faint transmission to air traffic control that his engine had shut down, the NTSB said.

He told air traffic control, "My engine turned off, I'm at 1,600," followed by, "I'm going to be landing, I don't know where."

The NTSB said Dotsenko indicated that he had a runway in sight but was too far away to make it.

"There was no further communication from the pilot after that," the NTSB said.

Investigators look over a small plane crash alongside eastbound Interstate 40 at mile marker 202 on Tuesday, March 5, 2024, in Nashville, Tenn.
Investigators look over a small plane crash alongside eastbound Interstate 40 at mile marker 202 on Tuesday, March 5, 2024, in Nashville, Tenn.

Investigators look over a small plane crash alongside eastbound Interstate 40 at mile marker 202 on Tuesday, March 5, 2024, in Nashville. (George Walker IV/The Associated Press)

The family was killed when their 1978 Piper single-engine plane crashed and burst into flames alongside a highway west of downtown Nashville around 7:40 p.m. ET on March 4.

"During the accident sequence, the left fuel tank was breached, and a large postimpact fire engulfed the airplane, which largely consumed the left wing and fuselage," the NTSB said.

The report said multiple witnesses reported hearing the plane as it passed overhead and that it sounded like it was having engine issues. One witness said the engine was "sputtering and making popping sounds," according to the report.

The plane was based at the Brampton Flight Centre, which is owned and operated by the Brampton Flying Club. Victor Dotsenko appears on a list of private pilot licence graduates at the centre in 2022.

Following the crash, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada sent a representative to assist in the investigation, which was led by U.S. authorities.