Small Airplane Crashes Near Dallas, Texas, Tragically Killing All 10 People Aboard
Ten people, including two children, died tragically Sunday morning when a small, private airplane crashed shortly after take-off from a suburban airport near Dallas, Texas.
Twin-Engine Aircraft Was Headed to St. Petersburg, Florida
The twin-engine aircraft had just left the runway at Addison Municipal Airport and was headed to St. Petersburg, Florida, when it suddenly rolled to the left and plummeted into a vacant hanger around 9:10 a.m. on June 30th.
“He got onto the runway, went down the runway, started taking off,” one witness told KOLO-8. “He got to about 200 feet, and I saw him starting to lose power and his altitude, and then I see him just roll over and came straight down right into the building”
The luxury Beechcraft BE-350 King Air burst into flames upon impact. Seconds later, clouds of thick, black smoke began billowing from the hanger.
Dallas Plane Crash Victims Include 2 Teens, Tennis League Members
Authorities have since confirmed that two pilots and eight passengers were aboard the airplane Sunday morning. The victims ranged in age from 13 to 58, and included a 13-year-old boy and his 15-year-old sister from Plano, Texas.
Their mother and stepfather also died in the crash, as did a Dallas real estate executive and his wife.
Several passengers were apparently members of the Tennis Competitors of Dallas, including one of the league’s directors and her husband.
Airplane May Have Stalled Before Crashing
So far, it’s not clear what caused the Dallas plane crash.
According to a pilot who witnessed the tragedy while preparing for his own flight Sunday morning, the aircraft might have stalled.
“My friend and I have flown for a long time,” he told NBC 5. “We both knew that the sound that we were hearing out of that King Air was not correct.”
“It appears as though the airplane stalled and it fell to the left, and when that happens at a low altitude it’s impossible to recover,” he continued.
NTSB Investigating Dallas Plane Crash
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating the Dallas plane crash.
On Monday morning, NTSB Vice Chairman Bruce Landsberg and lead investigator Dr. Jennifer Rodi confirmed that the aircraft’s landing gear was down when it hit the hanger. They also revealed that the entire plane made contact with the building, proof that it did not break up in the air.
“The FAA is now working on looking for the maintenance records for the aircraft,” Landsberg said. “Anytime there is any maintenance done on an airplane it is documented by a certificated mechanic.”
Personal Aircraft Lack Flight Data Recorders
Investigators did recover the plane’s cockpit voice recorder, which is currently undergoing analysis in Washington, D.C.
“We don’t know exactly what’s on the recorder, but what the recorders do will capture external communications between the crew and air traffic; and of particular interest to us is of the internal cockpit conversation between the pilot and the copilot,” Landsberg continued.
The Federal Aviation Administration doesn’t require flight data recorders for personal-use aircraft, even though the NTSB has recommended such a mandate.
During Monday’s briefing, Landsburg indicated that information from a flight data recorder could prove tremendously valuable to the Dallas plane crash investigation. In its absence, the NTSB is counting on the wreckage, surveillance video from Addison Municipal Airport, and witness accounts to provide clues into what might have gone wrong Sunday morning.
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