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Cause of fatal Franklin County plane crash may not be known for a year or more

Former Raleigh police officer among three killed in Franklin County plane crash

Former Raleigh police officer Brian Sjostedt was one of three people killed in the crash of a single-engine Cessna C-182 plane in Franklin County on Friday night, according to the police department.
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Former Raleigh police officer Brian Sjostedt was one of three people killed in the crash of a single-engine Cessna C-182 plane in Franklin County on Friday night, according to the police department.

It will be about a year before the National Transportation Safety Board determines what caused the crash of a small plane in Franklin County on Friday that killed all three people aboard, according to an agency spokesman.

The NTSB investigates about 2,000 accidents a year involving all types of transportation, including railroads and pipelines. It’s not uncommon for the independent federal board to take a year or more to announce its findings.

NTSB investigators are still gathering information from the plane and the crash scene in Franklin County and will release a preliminary report on the basic facts of the crash in 7 to 10 days, spokesman Terry Williams said Monday. That report will not speculate on the cause of the crash, Williams said.

The single-engine Cessna C-182 crashed into a creek that leads into Clifton Pond about two miles south of Triangle North Executive Airport at about 7:20 p.m. Friday. The pilot, Brian Sjostedt, his girlfriend Jessica Kenny and her friend Allison Forsythe died in the crash.

They were headed to Hilton Head, S.C., where a friend said Sjostedt kept a boat. It was a flight Sjostedt had made many times, Zack T. Medford said.

Sjostedt, who worked as a Raleigh police officer from 1998 to 2005, learned to fly at the Henderson-Oxford Airport in Granville County and passed his private pilot’s check in 2013, said Paul Hesse, his instructor. Hesse said Sjostedt was a good pilot and an experienced plane owner.

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Richard Stradling covers transportation for The News & Observer. Planes, trains and automobiles, plus ferries, bicycles, scooters and just plain walking. Also, #census2020. He’s been a reporter or editor for 32 years, including the last 20 at The N&O. 919-829-4739, rstradling@newsobserver.com.
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