NTSB: Pilot reported ice before small plane crash

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Ice accumulation was reported on a small plane just minutes before it crashed near Altoona last week, killing a Lancaster businessman and a Camp Hill dentist.

A preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board says pilot James Durkin requested to divert to John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport at 8:28 a.m.

An air traffic controller advised that clouds at the airport were overcast at 200 feet and clouds at Altoona-Blair County Airport were overcast at 500 feet, so Durkin requested vectors to Altoona-Blair County for an instrument approach, the report states.

Durkin was given permission to descend from 6,000 to 4,500 feet and he was attempting to approach the airport when radar contact was lost at 8:43 a.m.

The Cirrus SR22 single-engine plane crashed Thursday in a residential area near Williamsburg, about 10 miles east of Altoona.

Durkin and his passenger, Dr. Stephen Grady, were traveling from Lancaster Airport to South Bend, Indiana, for a leadership conference at the University of Notre Dame. Grady was president of The Notre Dame Club of Harrisburg and Durkin was the club treasurer.

No one else was on the plane.

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