Investigators are still struggling to piece together details surrounding a puzzling plane crash that killed a Canadian pilot at Nashville International Airport and left smoldering wreckage sitting on a runway for possibly hours Tuesday morning.
The pilot, identified as 45-year-old Michael Callan of Windsor, Ontario, came to Nashville without logging a flight plan. It remains unclear if he had communicated with officials here.
The wreckage of the single-engine Cessna was discovered on a runway by a taxiing plane at about 8:45 a.m. Airport workers did a sweep of the runway at about 2 a.m. and did not find any debris, according to Jay Neylon, an investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board. The exact timing of the fiery crash is still unknown.
"At this point, we're still examining the air traffic control tapes and radar to determine if there was any communication between the aircraft and the control tower," Neylon said during a news briefing Wednesday.
Nashville's dense fog on Tuesday, the plane's condition and Callan's flying record all will be included in the investigation, Neylon said. A preliminary report will be issued within 10 days.
The pilot had rented the plane Monday from Windsor Flying Club in Ontario, according to club president David Gillies. He had filed plans to fly to Pelee Island on Lake Erie, a route he had flown multiple times.
Gillies said Callan closed the flight plan with Canadian authorities hours before the crash, but did not mention another trip.
"There are so many uncertainties surrounding this occurrence," Gillies said. "I have no idea what flight plan he made."
Planes land and take off at Nashville's airport around the clock, according to spokeswoman Emily Richard. Pilots are not always required to log official flight plans, but they are required to communicate with air traffic control before they arrive.
The Federal Aviation Administration staffs and regulates air traffic control, and said Nashville's tower is always staffed.
A spokesman for the FAA would not answer specific questions about staffing during the crash, citing the ongoing investigation. Airport officials did not answer questions about the crash for the same reason.
In a statement, the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority called safety and security the airport's top priority.
"As an FAA certificated airport, MNAA is required to comply with the FAA's safety standards. MNAA has long maintained a strong record of safety and follows stringent federal safety regulations," the statement read. "We uphold these regulations every day, including (Tuesday). We have inspectors and crash, fire and rescue personnel on duty 24 hours per day, 365 days per year to respond in the event of any emergency."
Callan had been a licensed pilot since 1989, and had been a club member for many years, according to Gillies.
"From our records, we see that he was legally flying the airplane," he said.