More details released in plane crash that killed La Crosse doctor

NTSB releases preliminary crash report

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released its preliminary crash report that killed Gundersen Health System OB/GYN Rick Renwick and his brother Bruce on Saturday night near La Pointe, Wisconsin.

The NTSB says the Piper PA-24-260 airplane hit trees and terrain during a go-around from runway 22 at the Major Gilbert Field Airport at about 6:30 p.m. on June 15.

A witness says he heard “squeeling” that sounded like screeching tires coming from the airplane’s engine. He then looked at the runway and saw the airplane “bouncing out of control” on the runway. The witness told authorities it looked like the airplane flew in from the north east and was attempting to land. The plane “went to full throttle” and pitched to about 45 degrees where it started climbing. The witness said the plane flew to the right and he thought it was going to circle around to attempt another landing. That’s when there was an explosion.


A fire started after the plane struck a wooded area. The NTSB says the plane was destroyed during the impact and ground fire. The nose landing gear strut, its fork, and its tire and an outboard section of the right wing were found separated from the plane, according to the NTSB. All major components of the airplane were accounted for at the crash site.

The pilot, Dr. Renwick, held a private pilot certificate, with an airplane single engine land and instrument airplane ratings. The pilot rated passenger, Bruce Renwick held a private pilot certificate with a single engine land rating. The NTSB says the plane left the La Crosse Municipal Airport (LSE) at 11:02 a.m.

The NTSB said the recorded weather at the Ashland Airport (ASX), about 16 nautical miles from the crash site, was: wind calm; visibility 10 statute miles; sky condition few clouds at 2,200 feet.