The plane crash that occurred outside of North Branford, Connecticut in September 2017 and killed both people on board – NASCAR’s Ted Christopher and the pilot, Charles Dundas.
Christopher, who was just 59 years old at the time of the crash, had held quite a long list of accomplishments in NASCAR during his life. He won 13 championships and raced in every single level of NASCAR. He also was named one of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Top 25 drivers.
On September 16th, 2017 Christopher was a passenger in a Mooney M20C plane flown by pilot Dundas that had taken off just a few minutes before from Robertson Airport in Plainville, Connecticut.
The plane went down around 2 p.m. local time and neighbors in North Branford said that they heard a noise, but did not witness the plane in distress before it crashed.
According to the New Haven Register, Jeff Mulready who lives near the location of the crash, was out walking by his property when he discovered the plane with his fiancee. He said that they didn’t have any idea the noise they heard had been a plane crash, but his fiancee says that she saw two men inside the crashed aircraft. One had been ejected through the windshield.
Now, over two years after the crash, the National Transportation Safety Board has released its findings into the cause of the crash. Investigators concluded that fibers from a shop towel got caught in the fuel line system and prevented proper flow to the engine.
The lack of proper fuel delivery prevented the pilot from being able to operate the aircraft effectively and that issue, combined with the aircraft’s altitude, gave him no time to find a good landing zone.
The investigators officially labeled the cause of the crash due to improper maintenance and pilot’s judgement.
Watch the full news report of the initial crash below.