The trio, who survived the ordeal with little-to-no injuries, used a tarp to create a cocoon and huddled for warmth amid single-digit temperatures until rescuers arrived.
Dombroski's wife, Beth, told Patch days after the crash that her husband had been piloting planes for decades and that the experimental aircraft he was operating was "probably his tenth." At that time, the Federal Aviation Administration was investigating the crash.
According to a report published Friday on NJ.com, an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board blames the crash on pilot error, finding that the plane drifted off course as it tried to land.
Investigators stated that radar data showed the pilot had never become established on the approach to the Lake Placid airport, according to the report. In a finding of probable cause, the NTSB said the aircraft “at no point was in position to land and was never closer than 1 mile northeast of the airport before flying into rising terrain” and concluded that the accident was caused by “the pilot’s improper in-flight planning and decision making, which resulted in attempted visual flight in night instrument meteorological conditions and subsequent impact with terrain.”
Beth Dombroski told Patch in February that the day after the men were rescued they hiked back in to the site with a guide but little was salvageable. The plane, which can fly at a top speed of 220 miles per hour, was traveling at a landing speed of approximately 50 to 80 knots (equal to between 57 and 92 miles per hour) when it hit the first tree branch, she said.