June 20, 2017 – Town of Erin, WI – The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is confirming reports it investigated a complaint on June 15, 2017 in regard to the Airsign aircraft prior to the aircraft actually crashing.
At 8:53 a.m. on that date, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office received a complaint from a property owner near the private airstrip where the aircraft launched. During the original call, the complainant advised that the aircraft was scaring his cattle. He also was concerned that the aircraft may be violating permits/regulations during its operation.
Near the end of the call, the complainant asked if he could “…shoot it down?” The dispatcher advised no, and that a Deputy was on his way to meet with him. The question was asked in a sarcastic manner, but could be construed as a vague threat.
The Deputy did meet with the complainant, advised him on his concerns and determined that he was not a threat to the aircraft.
At 11:15 a.m., the aircraft was seen in distress and crashed. Investigators were almost immediately assigned to locate and interview the complainant from earlier in the morning. He was located, and during a thorough interview, denied any involvement in the aircraft crash.
Through interviews, evidence at the crash site, witnesses and other information, there is no reason to believe this person was involved, in any way, with the aircraft crash.
Additionally, from the same evidence and information, there is no reason to believe foul play is involved with the crash of the aircraft. If any new information develops, it will be investigated.
The NTSB has an open investigation, and it is hoped they will be able to make a determination as to the cause of the crash. No reports or recordings will be released at this time.