Victim Identified In Nashville International Plane Crash - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Victim Identified In Nashville International Plane Crash

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The pilot killed in the crash at Nashville International Airport Tuesday has been identified as 45-year-old Michael Callan from Windsor, Ontario in Canada.

Officials said Callan's body was thrown about six feet from the aircraft and was badly burned. Police recovered a wallet which helped them with the identification.

NewsChannel 5 spoke to Callan's sister, Jody Quenneville, by phone from her home in Ontario Wednesday.

"He was an aspiring pilot who loved to fly. We only just learned from authorities that he died. He was the youngest brother of four children. He was not married and had no children of his own," said Quenneville.

She said the family has no idea how he ended up in Nashville, and that they're in a state of shock.

The Cessna 172 single-engine plane crashed sometime in the early-morning hours after 3 a.m. CDT on Tuesday. But the crash apparently wasn't reported until a pilot in another plane saw the wreckage around 8:45 a.m.

National Transportation Safety Board air safety investigator Jay Neylon told reporters at a news conference on Wednesday that fog was very dense around that time, "and that's one thing we will look at closely."

"At this point we are still examining the air traffic control tapes and radar to determine if there was any communications between the aircraft and the control tower," Neylson said.

The Cessna-172R Skyhawk, a single engine plane built in 1999 with four seats, had been scheduled to land at Pelee Island Airport in Ontario, Canada, on Monday night, but Neylon said it was unclear if the plane actually landed there. The NTSB planned to contact the airport to find out.

NewsChannel 5 obtained exclusive photographs from the NTSB investigative file that may help explain how the crash happened and why it took so long to discover the wreckage.

In one of the photos, you can see the engine of the plane, which was said to have been thrown 100 yards from the main fuselage. Sources said that indicates the plane likely hit nose first at a very high rate of speed. 

The second photo shows the wreck scene, with the control tower in the background shrouded in fog. It was taken around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, and it may explain why those inside the tower did not see the crash until nearly six hours after it happened. 

In a statement released Wednesday, Windsor Flying Club President David Gillies said the club had "been training pilots and renting airplanes since 1944. We have never experienced an accident of this magnitude in our 69 year history."

The runway reopened Thursday after NTSB and FAA investigators collected "perishable evidence" and continued their investigation. Investigators said it could take up to 10 days to file a preliminary report with the facts of crash.

NewsChannel 5 also uncovered that a man named Michael Callan of the same age has a criminal record dating back to the late 1990s in Windsor, including a number of violent bank robberies.

A Michael Callan with the same birth date was also facing charges in connection with a child porn crackdown by Windsor police last year. 

The Windsor Star reported that Windsor RCMP, the lead Canadian agency in the investigation, declined to confirm if the Callan killed in the crash was one and the same, citing the cross-border jurisdictional issues and the fact that American agencies are the lead investigators in the case.

(The Associated Press Contributed To This Report.)

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