(CNN) — A 2021 Tennessee plane crash that killed a Christian diet guru and six others was caused by the pilot losing control of the plane during takeoff “due to spatial disorientation,” according to a National Board report. Filed by the US Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). This Wednesday.
Dietitian Gwen Shamblin Laura; Her husband, actor William J. Laura; his son-in-law, Brandon Hanna; and married couple Jennifer and David Martin, and Jessica and Jonathan Walters aboard a Cessna 501 departing from Smyrna Airport and bound for Palm Beach, Florida on May 29, 2021.
Shortly after takeoff, the plane crashed into Percy Priest Lake in Smyrna, near Nashville, killing all on board.
According to the NTSB report, later flight tracking data revealed that the plane entered the clouds, made a series of course changes and made several climbs and descents before entering the clouds and initiating a steep, descending left turn.
Movements were consistent with type Spatial disorientation Called a somatogravic illusion, the report states that “accelerations associated with increased aircraft speed may be perceived by the pilot as climbing, even though the aircraft is in a continuous descent.”
This type of disorientation usually occurs when pilots have “unreliable or unavailable external visual cues.” Federal Aviation Administration. “The pilot did not use his instruments effectively during takeoff and climb,” the NTSB report said.
According to investigators, the pilot believed the plane was going nose up instead of nose down, so he was unable to recover after the plane began to fall at high acceleration. According to the NTSB, the plane hit a shallow lake reservoir at high speed.
About two-thirds of the plane’s wreckage has been recovered, including two engines, the main cabin door, pieces of the main cabin windows and several broken seat frames, the report said. According to the report, the recovered wreckage showed no signs of mechanical failure.
Gwen Shamblin Laura was the founder and spiritual leader of Remnant Fellowship Church in Brentwood, south of Nashville. A registered dietitian, she developed the Weight Loss Diet, which encouraged dieters to strengthen their faith in God in order to lose weight.
Her husband, also known as Joe Lara, is an actor known for his role in the television series “Tarzan: The Epic Adventures” that aired from 1996 to 1997.
Walters and Martin joined Remnant Fellowship Church in the late 1990s, according to the church’s website. Hannah helped oversee the church youth group.
Following the crash, the church released a statement, remembering the victims as “the kindest and most loving people you will ever meet.”
CNN’s Claudia Dominguez and Joe Sutton contributed to this report.
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