Federal investigators have released close-up photos of Dale Earnhardt Jr.‘s plane after it crashed in 2019 … and it’s clear as day, the NASCAR legend is fortunate to be alive.
Dale’s jet smashed down on an Elizabethton, TN. airport runway on Aug. 15, 2019 … and it skidded off through some fencing and came to rest along a local highway.
Junior, his wife, daughter, dog and the two pilots on board were all able to escape the wreckage relatively unscathed … but in photos of the crash, released by the NTSB on Wednesday, you can see that’s miraculous.
The pics show the plane ended up being burnt to ashes … and in one of the photos, you can see just how far it skidded from its initial landing point to its final resting stop.
Other photos show how parts broke off the plane as it slammed to the ground … with some wheels and other pieces yards away from the main body.
The NTSB says in its final report the cause of the crash was pilot error … with investigators writing they believe the plane was coming in too fast to land safely.
In the report, officials say the pilots also didn’t brake properly given how fast the plane was traveling into the runway … and that all led to the violent crash.
Dale Jr. says he suffered a bruised back in the landing … but otherwise, he and his family had no issues post-wreck.