Gwen Shamblin and Joe Lara death: Chilling cockpit audio moments before plane crash reveals alarm going off
Controversial diet guru Gwen Shamblin and her husband Joe Lara were among seven passengers who died in a private plane crash in a Tennessee lake on the morning of Saturday, May 29. The seven deceased were all leaders of Shamblin and Lara's Brentwood-based Remnant Fellowship Church that was born out of her faith-based diet program started in the '80s, the Weigh Down Workshop.
Over the years, Shamblin has been embroiled in controversies, some even leading to the church getting investigated for a child's death. Now, in sensational discoveries surrounding Shamblin's death, the final moments recorded obtained via a cockpit recording hint of an alarm as the plane began crashing just 90 minutes into its flight.
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The small Cessna C501 jet crashed into Percy Priest Lake, but air traffic control (ATC) records have now revealed what actually went on inside the aircraft when the pilot responded to controllers that were directing him to turn. The sound of a possible alarm in the cockpit of the plane carrying the diet guru and her friends can be allegedly heard going off, reports local outlet, NewsChannel 5. Some pilots have told the outlet the alarm sounded unusual, and many even suggested that such sounds should be heard during take-off. The high impact crash left both the church founders, their four pals, and their son-in-law Brandon Hannah dead.
The Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) altitude data shows the small business jet Shamblin and Lara were traveling in might have regained altitude before falling 2,900 feet into the lake in a matter of seconds. According to ATC records, the jet, tail-numbered N66BK, was flying north-west from the Smyrna-Rutherford County Airport at 10.53 am The pilot was seen heading north-east when he was instructed to go south-west. The pilot acknowledged the directors but right then the sound of some kind of an alarm goes off.
Tracking shows the pilot was able to pull the aircraft up by 2,9000 feet just nine seconds after the alarm goes off. The flight then immediately fell a steep dive into the Percy Priest Lake, dropping off the radar. The air traffic controller repeatedly called out to the pilot, asking: "How do you hear?" There is no response from the other end to that.
The issue of what caused the crash will be probed into in the coming few days. Dive teams from Rutherford County Fire Rescue, Metro Nashville Office of Emergency Management, Metro Nashville Police Department and Wilson County Emergency Management Agency will be aiding the investigation. The National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB) lead investigators are scheduled to join local authorities and FAA representatives from Monday, May 31. Recovered plane debris will also be studied and examined to determine what caused the crash.
“With dive teams in the water, we are strongly urging civilian boaters to stay away from the public safety boats,” said Rutherford County incident commander John Ingle. “This is for their safety and the safety of our personnel in the water. Recovery efforts are ongoing on the lake from the Weakley Lane bridge to the Lamar Hill Boat Ramp,” Ingle added. “We are asking all civilian boaters to stay clear of those areas.”