New Details on Salisbury Township Plane Crash Revealed; Happened One Minute After Takeoff

Oct. 12, 2022

The airplane that crashed Sept. 28 in Lehigh County, killing one man and seriously injuring a second, was airborne less than one mile before the accident, according to a preliminary government report.

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board also said the plane traveled southwest after taking off from Allentown’s Queen City Airport, then made a slight left turn before crashing next to a home in Salisbury Township.

The 1:40 p.m. crash happened about one minute following the plane’s departure from the airport, the NTSB said, which was released Friday.

The crash killed Keith Kozel, 49, of Easton, a student pilot, according to the Lehigh County coroner’s office. Kozel died from multiple injuries; the coroner ruled the death accidental.

Kozel and the instructor were riding in a single-engine Piper PA-28 that crashed into the yard of 1480 Keystone Road, near the Little Lehigh Creek.

The instructor, whose identity has not been released, went to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest in Salisbury Township following the crash. Salisbury police, who are also investigating the crash, did not return messages Tuesday or Wednesday seeking the victim’s identity or further comment.

Kozel and the instructor were in an aircraft owned by Nouman Saleem of ProFlite Aero Services in Palmer Township.

The NTSB report said a witness who was outside the home, reported not hearing the airplane until it struck trees. Upon impact, according to the witness, a fire erupted with flames engulfing the cabin.

A witness told The Morning Call the engine was sputtering and she saw flames coming from the craft.

Investigators were able to retrieve the entire plane’s body and engine components, the NTSB said, with the inboard portion of the left wing found lodged in a tree about 15 feet above ground.

A final NTSB report on the crash could take 12 to 24 months.

Morning Call journalist Anthony Salamone can be reached at [email protected].

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