The National Transportation Safety Board has released the findings of its investigation into the October 16, 2000, plane crash that claimed the lives of Governor Mel Carnahan, his son Randy – the pilot, and longtime aide Chris Sifford. The NTSB has determined that the probable cause of this accident was the pilot’s failure to control the airplane while maneuvering because of spatial disorientation. Contributing to the accident were the failure of the airplane’s primary attitude indicator – which indicates whether the airplane is level with the horizon – and the adverse weather conditions, including turbulence. The plane went down near Hillsboro, Missouri, after taking off from a small airport in Illinois on a flight to a campaign stop in New Madrid. Governor Carnahan was running for the U.S. Senate at the time of his death.

For more information on the plane crash and related stories, visit our audio archives.