Pilot weighs in on potential cause of Lake Erie plane crash

Posted at 8:43 PM, Jan 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-05 11:38:03-05
A windy, wintry day prevented search crews from heading back out onto Lake Erie Wednesday to look for the plane that crashed there nearly one week ago.
Search crews were able to scour the shoreline looking for any debris that may wash up.
Flight experts are weighing in now on what they believe may have happened mid-air to cause the plane crash.
Larry Rohl is a 60-year pilot and the owner of T&G Flying Club in Cleveland. He has flown in and out of Burke Lakefront Airport, where John T. Fleming’s Cessna 525 went down, just off the coast, and into Lake Erie last week, countless times.
Rohl had a guess as to what may have been the cause of the crash.
“We have a situation of the pilot not monitoring his primary instruments,” he said.
Rohl says given how briefly Fleming was in the air it appears the there was unfamiliarity with the aircraft and potentially too much reliance, he says, on auto-pilot.
Fleming was in the air from take-off to crash for less than a minute.
Fleming, according to FAA records, purchased his Cessna 525 in October and had possibly flown just a few months. 
“The indicators are definitely pointing toward inexperience in a very high-performance aircraft,” said Rohl.
News 5 has requested records from the FAA that would show when Fleming was allowed to fly a Cessna 525. Currently, on his license, posted to the FAA pilot database, Fleming was only certified to fly a Cessna 510, a much smaller plane than the 525.
Rohl says even though high winds and snow were in play around take off Thursday, he thinks the weather was likely not a cause for the crash. The FAA and NTSB will both need to complete their investigations before an official cause of the crash can be determined.