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NTSB: Pilot likely disoriented in Scott City crash

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- A pilot who died along with his family in a plane crash near Topeka likely became disoriented while using instruments to land in overcast and rainy weather, according to a report from the National Transportation Safety Board.

Dylan Spencer, 35, was flying from Scott City to Topeka on April 22, 2011, when the plane crashed as he tried to land near Topeka's Philip Billard Airport. He died along with his 34-year-old wife, Amy Spencer, and their two children, Chase, 7, and Ansley, 5.

Spencer, of Scott City, had less than an hour of flying using only instruments after he received his rating to fly relying on instruments rather than sight, according to the NTSB's probable cause report, The Hutchinson News reported Monday ( ).

Scott missed the airport runway the first time he tried to land and asked for permission to attempt another landing using a global positioning satellite, the report said.

He was using instruments to set up the GPS approach when the plane crashed, the NTSB report said.

"It is likely that that the pilot became disoriented while maneuvering in IMC to set up for the GPS approach and lost control of the airplane," the report stated. "Contributing to the accident was the pilot's minimal experience flying in actual instrument conditions."

Dylan Spencer served on the Scott City Commission, the county economic development board and Scott City Municipal Airport board. Amy Spencer was a special education teacher in Scott City.

After the crash, friends of the Spencers and other pilots at Scott City set up a flight training center dedicated to the family. The Spencer Flight and Education Center at the Scott City Municipal Airport features a Redbird FMX full-motion flight simulator as well as a classroom and library.


Information from: The Hutchinson (Kan.) News,