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NTSB releases report on crash that killed Fargo AirSho pilot

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, an alert was sent out.

The wreckage was found the next morning south of Knoxville, Tenn., in the Cherokee National Forest. Damage to trees indicated the plane’s orientation was nearly level at impact, the report said.

“There was no evidence of fire noted. …,” 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.”

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

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