By The Associated Press
NEW SITE— Investigators say a 2012 plane crash in Mississippi that killed three members of a Georgia family likely happened because the pilot inadvertently flew into a thunderstorm.
The National Transportation Safety Board said in a probable cause report May 30 that the Piper Cherokee Lance broke apart in flight. The investigation revealed that the breakup of the plane was consistent with structural overload.
Severe storms are accompanied by turbulence and wind shear that can damage planes.
The July 8, 2012, crash near New Site in north Mississippi killed James Bartley Jr.; his wife, Terry Bartley; and their youngest daughter, Caroline Bartley. He had a podiatry practice in Columbus, Ga.
The family was flying from their vacation home in North Carolina to the University of Mississippi, where Caroline Bartley was a student.