Possible factors to be investigated include trouble with the pilot or plane and weather, said Jennifer Rodi, a National Transportation Safety Board investigator who spent Tuesday on the scene.
"It definitely appears the airplane dropped the turbine blade in some manner.
But until I can put the pieces of the wreckage together, it will be hard to say whether it was a front-on impact or if the blade came down on the plane," she
The debris field is in a circle with the damaged wind turbine in the center and parts of the plane scattered for several hundred feet in all directions, she
"I would describe the wreckage as fragmented," Rodi
said, adding that it will be removed by Wednesday.
It's not known if the pilot filed a flight plan but he
was not communicating with air traffic controllers at the time of the crash, she
said the ultimate destination of the flight was Gettysburg, where the pilot lived, but he
had picked up a passenger in Highmore on the way to Texas.
Highmore is less than 800 miles from Hereford, which falls within the maximum range of a Piper.
However, factors such as how much fuel was in the plane when it left and head winds contribute to range, so that will also be part of the investigation, she
said that to her
knowledge the plane did not stop to refuel, though that will be part of the investigation.
Fischer was certified to fly with instruments only but she
didn't know if he
was current on that rating, she