Members of the National Transportation Safety Board arrived in Sioux Falls this week to begin their investigation as to why a twin-engine cargo aircraft crashed at the Sioux Falls Regional Airport early Sunday morning (June 7).

The crash left the planes only occupant, the pilot, dead.

Dakota News Now is reporting the investigation team will be in the city anywhere from one to two days conducting the on-site investigation. The preliminary investigation has three main focuses; the pilot, the machine, and the environment should be out in a couple of weeks.

The preliminary investigation won’t point to a cause, or factors, in the crash. It will only reveal what investigators have learned at this point.

The entire investigation, which will ultimately determine the actual cause, and the factors leading up to the accident will take about 12 to 24 months to complete.

At this time, it is not known if the weather was a factor in the accident.

NTSB Public Affairs Officer Peter Knudson told Dakota News Now, "We’ll look at everything and we’ll rule things out, issue areas as we find they did not play a role in the accident. We’re really not even at the ruling out stage yet."

Air traffic controllers were not on duty at the time of the accident, due to the fact the Sioux Falls Regional Airport is a smaller airport and is not required to have air traffic control teams on duty between midnight and 5:00 AM.

According to Dakota News Now, Sunday's twin-engine plane accident happened shortly after takeoff around 4:30 AM.

The plane was diverted to the Sioux Falls airport just after 1:00 AM due to severe weather in the area. The aircraft was headed from Everett, Washington, to Huron, South Dakota.

Source: Dakota News Now

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