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Forum staff reports, Published April 01 2014

Preliminary NTSB report does not list cause of crash that killed Fargo AirSho performer Maroney

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The National Transportation Safety Board has issued a preliminary report on the Tennessee plane crash that killed pilot Jim “Fang” Maroney, a Fargo AirSho performer and former commander in the North Dakota Air National Guard.

Maroney, a 59-year-old Casselton native who lived in Milwaukee, was flying his signature show plane – a 1956 de Havilland “Super Chipmunk” – to a Florida air show when the crash happened the afternoon of March 23.

The NTSB report said Maroney’s flight originated in French Lick, Ind., and his next stop was Canon, Ga. When he did not show up there, an alert was sent out, the report said.

The wreckage was found the next morning just south of Knoxville in the Cherokee National Forest on a mountain slope. Damage to trees indicated the plane’s orientation was nearly level at impact, the report stated.

“There was no evidence of fire noted. The engine controls were found in the ‘full forward’ positions,” the report said. “The pilot was found in the cockpit and was wearing a parachute at the time of the accident; it was not deployed.”

In Knoxville about the time of the crash, there were scattered clouds at 1,900 feet and broken clouds at 2,800 and 5,000 feet. The elevation of the crash site was 2,222 feet, the report stated.

The preliminary report does not list a cause for the crash, and the investigation is still ongoing.

Maroney was working as a chief pilot for Delta Air Lines at the time of his death. His funeral was held Tuesday at the Fargo Air Museum.