NTSB releases report on deadly plane crash that killed Rock Palermo, Don Clements

Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 9:57 PM CDT
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Hackberry, LA (KPLC) - The National Transportation Safety Board has released the report on its investigation of a deadly plane crash in Hackberry.

On Feb. 2, 2021, an aircraft went down, killing both men on board, Rock Palermo and Don Clements. They were aboard a 1979 Cessna 182Q, of which Clements had recently become part owner of.

Another owner of the plane flew with Clements and Palermo the day before the accident and didn’t report anything of concern. Then the day of the accident, Clements completed a one-hour flight around 2:30 p.m. in the plane as an insurance policy requirement without any complications. The Cessna 182Q then departed again at 5:13 p.m. and crashed 31 minutes later at 5:44 p.m.

The NTSB report outlines the final moments the craft was in flight. It said the plane was traveling about 4,500 feet above ground as the air speed decreased and began a slow descent. The descent then increased rapidly. The last 12 seconds of recorded data show the plane made a right turn and descended 3,200 feet leading up to the accident.

The plane impacted soft, muddy ground near Hackberry, causing a crater that extended 15 feet deep and covering the majority of the plane.

The autopsies of the victims reported the cause of death for both was multiple injuries sustained from the crash. Investigators said there was so much damage it limited how much they could investigate. In the end, because of the extensive damage it was ruled that it will ultimately remain a mystery on why or how the aircraft lost control.

Palermo was an instructor on the flight and Clements was a student. Both men were well known in Southwest Louisiana and had touched the lives of many.

To view all the aviation investigation items released by NTSB, CLICK HERE.

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