10 dead after light aircraft crashes during takeoff near Dallas, US
10 people were killed when a light aircraft crashed as it was taking off from a Dallas-area airport on Sunday morning, 30 June 2019, a spokeswoman for the town of Addison, Texas, said. Spokeswoman Mary Rosenbleeth said no one aboard the twin-engine plane survived after it struck a building at the Addison Municipal Airport, about 32km north of Dallas. The Beechcraft BE-350 King Air hit an unoccupied hangar soon after 9h00, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. The agency said that the blaze destroyed the plane but could not confirm how many people were aboard Sunday evening.
Two crew members and eight passengers were on board the twin-engine Beechcraft Super King Air 350 that was destroyed by flames after it crashed at 9h11, said Bruce Landsberg, vice chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). “We don’t know a lot about the people on board,” he said.
The flight had been headed to St Petersburg, Florida. A Falcon jet and a helicopter that were inside the hangar were damaged, Landsberg said.
The names of the people who died were not released while officials worked to notify their families, said Rosenbleeth.
Addison fire spokesman, Edward Martelle, said the plane had just lifted off the runway when it veered left, dropped its left wing and went into the hangar. The fire department had extinguished the fire and all hot spots at the hangar by 14h00.
The NTSB is leading the investigation into the crash. Officials offered no details about the cause and did not confirm whether engine failure to blame. “We cannot confirm that there was engine failure at this point,” Landsberg said. “There are any number of possibilities that could occur and we’re not in a position to speculate on those kinds of things.”
Jennifer Rodi, the NTSB’s lead investigator in the crash, said her team has walked through the scene several times to observe the wreckage. The team will gather information on the flight crew on board, their training and knowledge, as well as details about how the plane was maintained and weather and communication factors that could have played into the crash.
The Federal Aviation Administration also sent investigators to the scene on Sunday, FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford said.
Martelle, the fire department spokesman, identified the plane’s registration number as N534FF. But he said authorities hadn’t confirmed who owned the plane and were looking into whether it recently had been sold. A Chicago-area charter company had listed a King Air 350I with that registration number as part of its fleet, offering it as a nine-seat rental starting at $1 800 an hour. However, the aircraft was no longer available on the company’s website.
A search of the FAA registry did not turn up results for N534FF but the plane’s serial number is also tied to another registration, which the FAA links to an Addison company.
The airport was closed for about 45 minutes after the crash before operations resumed.
Dallas County is helping the city of Addison set up a family assistance centre for people affected by the crash, Judge Clay Jenkins said. “It’s a very sad day for Dallas County,” he said. “My prayers are with the families we’re notifying about this tragedy.”
The mayor of St Petersburg, Rick Kriseman, also expressed his condolences. “We are waiting on local officials in … [Texas] to release victim info,” he wrote on Facebook. “My thoughts are with the families of the deceased.”
David Snell, who said he was getting ready to fly from the airport, told journalists he’d watched as the plane took off with what appeared to be reduced power. “The plane started to veer to the left and you could tell it couldn’t climb,” he said, adding that he could tell the plane was going to crash. “That was really a horrific thing to see because somebody’s life, lives, family’s lives were forever changed. It’s awful,” Snell said.
Source: Dallas News