A preliminary report has been issued by the National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) on the February 16 plane crash that killed Tuscaloosa pilot and aerial photographer Edward Todd. The report contained no significantly new information about the crash that has not already been reported.

The NTSB wrote that the 10:29am crash occurred when Todd's Cessna 172M single engine aircraft struck power lines while flying low over a tributary that leads into the Black Warrier River near Adger in Northeast Tuscaloosa County. The report misidentified the crash location as being near Centreville in Bibb County.

The aircraft plunged into 75 to 80 feet of water and sank. Divers from the Tuscaloosa Fire/Rescue Dive Team and other first responders extricated the 67-year-old from the aircraft, and he was pronounced deceased on the scene. He was the only person onboard.

According to the report, "A witness who was fishing on the Black Warrior River reported that he observed an airplane flying low up the river. The airplane collied with a set of powerlines, then impacted the water and sank. The witness said that by the time he reached the airplane with his boat, it was already submerged.

"Another witness observed the airplane flying “level” and low over the river. The airplane’s engine was operating at a “high rpm.” The witness said that as he attempted to take a picture of the airplane, he heard it impact the powerlines. The airplane then veered left and impacted the river."

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The airplane was recovered from the river and taken to a secure salvage facility for further examination. The report posted on the NTSB website states that NTSB investigators never visited the crash site.

Todd owned and operated a company that provided aerial photography to clients in Birmingham and Tuscaloosa for more than a decade.

Todd departed Tuscaloosa National Airport the morning of February 16. He made several passes across Jefferson County and was inbound back to Tuscaloosa when the crash occurred.

Following a final technical review of the gathered facts and analysis of those facts, a final report will be made available to the public following NTSB approval that identifies the probable cause(s) of the accident and factors that contributed to the outcome of the accident, if any.

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