NTSB Report Released on Remnant Fellowship Church Plane Crash that Killed Gwen Shamblin Lara in 2021

Mar 22, 2023 at 05:12 pm by WGNS News

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SMYRNA, TN - The National Transportation Safety Board has released the final crash report from their investigation into a Rutherford County plane crash that occurred in 2021, killing diet guru Gwen Shamblin Lara, her husband Joe, along with several other Remnant Fellowship Church members. Remnant Fellowship is a church in Brentwood, Tennessee. 

The small jet was headed for West Palm Beach, FL when the crash occurred in Smyrna, Tennessee on May 29, 2021 just after 10 AM. A man fishing on the lake told authorities he saw the plane nosedive towards the water. Records show the crash happened directly after take-off from the Smyrna – Rutherford County Airport, which is next to the lake. Killed were Joe and Gwen Lara, Jonathan and Jessica Walters, David and Jennifer Martin and Brandon Hannah.


Gwen Shamblin’s husband Joe, who was believed to be piloting the twin engine jet airplane, became disoriented and experienced “somatogravic illusion.” NTSB details show that he likely misperceived attitude and acceleration, thus becoming spatially disoriented. The NTSB determined the probable cause of the accident to be: The pilot’s loss of airplane control during climb due to spatial disorientation.

The analysis stated, "Postaccident examination of the recovered wreckage and both engines revealed no evidence of any preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation."

Records from the FAA show the multi-engine Cessna 501 was registered to JL & GL Productions LP  in Brentwood, Tennessee.  The FAA issued the certificate on March 2, 2020 and the certificate was set to expire on March 31, 2027. 


More Details – The 1982 Cessna 501 Citation jet engine airplane took off from the Smyrna / Rutherford County Airport, it began to climb at a rate of 2,000 feet per minute with a 5 to 10-degree "nose up pitch." When the plane entered the clouds, the pilot began making a right turn towards the intended heading. As the plane banked right at 30-degrees, the nose started to pitch downward and the aircrafts’ rate of climb was reduced, which was followed by the pitch of the airplane angling nose down (Full NTSB Report HERE)

In less than 30-seconds and at a height of 2,900 feet above sea level, the airplane was traveling at an air speed of 200 knots - or 230-miles per hour. The jet then began descending while taking a right turn at an angle of 60-degrees while increasing its speed from 200-knots to 290-knots or 333-miles-per-hour. The descent hit 1,875 feet and was followed by the airplane rapidly climbing 6,000 feet per minute with the nose pointed upwards. After reaching an altitude of 2,975 feet - the airplane began a steep descent while in a 60-degree left wing down roll, quickly descending 1,095 feet over Percy Priest Lake. (Example of 60-degrees and 30-degrees below)

During a simulation of the accident, it was calculated by the NTSB that based on load factors for the flight, the pilot possibly perceived that the aircraft was "nose-up rather than nose-down due to the airplanes accelerations." The NTSB wrote, "Throughout the whole flight, it was also  possible that the roll angle could have felt much less extreme than it actually was." It was noted that as a result of the planes pitch and roll motions and changes in acceleration and deceleration, that a pilots inner ear can become disrupted, making it unable to distinguish between load factors due to motion - versus load factors due to gravity. 

Documents or Shows: Several weeks ago, Amazon, and HBO Max released a series and even a movie about some of the stories surrounding Remnant Fellowship Church in Brentwood, TN. One of the videos dives into the start of the church, highlighting how it was tied into the diet program that was founded by Gwen Shamblin Lara. 

Lifetime released a movie about Gwen Shamblin Lara earlier this month on March 20th. Jennifer Grey stars as Shamblin in the 1-hour and 27-minute show.


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