Thursday, June 9, 2016

Piper PA-28 Cherokee, Cherokee Flying Club, N6223W: Fatal accident occurred June 09, 2016 near Wishek Municipal Airport (6L5), McIntosh County, North Dakota

CHEROKEE FLYING CLUB: http://registry.faa.gov/N6223W

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Fargo FSDO-21

NTSB Identification: CEN16FA212
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, June 09, 2016 in Wishek, ND
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28-140, registration: N6223W
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On June 9, 2016, about 1527 central daylight time, a Piper PA-28-140 airplane, N6223W, impacted terrain while departing from Wishek Municipal Airport (6L5), Wishek, North Dakota. The pilot and two passengers were fatally injured and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to and operated by Cherokee Flying Club under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Day visual meteorological conditions existed at the time of the accident. The flight departed without a flight plan and was destined for Bismarck Municipal Airport (BIS), Bismarck, North Dakota. 

According to his parents, the pilot was flying his aunt and cousin to Bismarck to obtain dental care for his cousin. A witness located on the airport ramp noticed the airplane depart on Runway 14 and climb out with a nose high attitude. After entering into a right turn, the airplane rapidly pitched down to a nose low attitude. The airplane impacted into a lake about ½ mile southwest of the airport, coming to rest in about four feet of water in a steep, nose low attitude.
 
Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email eyewitnessreport@ntsb.gov,  and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov.



Colbie Fandrich, 20 

Christine Fandrich, 38, and her son Aaron Nordstrom, 10





Mike Folkerts, investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board, McIntosh County Sheriff Laurie Spitzer and Wishek Fire Chief Dave Just speak at a press conference Friday afternoon at the Wishek Airport.


The National Transportation Safety Board should have a preliminary report within five days on a Thursday plane crash that killed three people in Wishek.

Colbie Fandrich, 20, of Wishek, was the pilot of the Piper PA 28-140 that crashed into May Lake at 3:30 p.m. Thursday. His aunt, Christine Fandrich, 38 of Bismarck, and cousin, Aaron Nordstrom, 10, of Bismarck, were passengers in the plane, McIntosh County Sheriff Laurie Spitzer said. All three were dead at the scene of the crash.

Mike Folkerts, investigator in charge of the crash scene for the NTSB, said he is working with three people from the Fargo office of the Federal Aviation Administration and representatives from the manufacturers of the plane and its engine.

The purpose of the investigation, Folkerts said, is to try to prevent future similar events from occurring. He said they will look into factors related to the pilot, the airplane and the environment that could have led to the crash.

Folkerts said Friday afternoon he did not know for sure whether there was a witness to the crash. He said there was no way yet to confirm earlier reports that there was trouble on takeoff.

“We’re not sure at this point if there is a witness who actually saw the accident,” said Folkerts, explaining the Wishek Airport is not controlled, so it is not unusual for someone to take off with no one around.

A final report on the crash will not be completed for six to 12 months, Folkerts said.

The plane was believed to be en route to Bismarck. Colbie Fandrich got his private pilot’s license last year, Folkerts said. He said the plane may have reached an altitude of 200 to 500 feet before crashing,

May Lake is about a mile across a grass field from the Wishek Airport. Wishek Fire Chief Dave Just said the water is about four feet deep. A four-person team from Bismarck was working to retrieve the plane from the lake Friday afternoon so it could be inspected. After inspection, it will be taken to salvage in Minneapolis.

The four-seat plane was manufactured in 1964. Folkerts said that’s not old for a plane; there was a high production rate for such aircraft in that decade, he said.

The plane belonged to a club, and Fandrich was believed to have rented it.

Source:  http://bismarcktribune.com 



Officials have released the names of the three people who died in a plane crash near Wishek Thursday afternoon.

20-year-old Colbie Fandrich of Wishek was the pilot. His 38-year-old aunt, Christine Fandrich of Bismarck, and 10-year-old nephew, Aaron Nordstrom of Bismarck, were passengers.

It was a four-seat plane, a 1964 Piper Cherokee, and it crashed around 3:30 Thursday afternoon into May Lake, about a half-mile south of Wishek.

The plane was en route to Bismarck.

The crash happened after complications during takeoff.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are in Wishek investigating the plane crash.

NTSB investigator Mike Folkerts says a site report will be done within two days. The final report could take six to twelve months.

Folkerts says there was no flight plan or air traffic control communication on this flight. He says that's not unusual for a small airport.

He says Colbie Fandrich got his private pilots license last year.

All three victims were wearing seat belts.

Folkerts says a four member team from Bismarck will begin working to recover the aircraft from the water this afternoon.

They'll take it to a hangar at the airport where investigators will begin looking at the plane today.

Folkerts says they'll do things like review maintenance records, look at the engine and check environmental factors like the weather.

The age of the aircraft isn't a factor.

Folkerts says 1964 is typical for a plane's age and that there are thousands of aircraft in use from that time.


Source:  http://www.kxnet.com



Wishek, ND (WDAY TV) - The three victims of a fatal plane crash have been identified by the McIntosh County Sheriff's Department.

Authorities identified the pilot as Colbie Fandrich, 20, of Wishek, one passenger was his aunt, Christine Fandrich, 38, of Bismarck, and her son Aaron Nordstrom, 10, of Bismarck.

The North Dakota Highway Patrol reports that a Pipe Cherokee Plane departed the Wishek Airport en route to Bismarck.

Complications arose during the takeoff and the pilot ended up crashing into May Lake, about 1.5 miles South of Wishek.

All of those on board suffered fatal injuries resulting from the crash.

Officials with the FAA say they should have a preliminary report available within the next five days. They still need to pull the airplane from May Lake to further analyze the wreckage.

The plane likely reached an altitude of 200-500 feet before it crashed into the lake.  The crash remains under investigation.

Original article can be found here:   http://www.wdaz.com



A pilot and two passengers died in a plane crash that occurred 1 1/2 miles south of Wishek Thursday afternoon, the North Dakota Highway Patrol reported.

A 1964 Piper Cherokee plane left the Wishek Airport heading to Bismarck around around 3:30 p.m. Thursday when unidentified complications during takeoff resulted in the plane crashing into May Lake, the patrol said.

The pilot was a 20-year-old man. The passengers were a 39-year-old woman and a 10-year-old boy.

The Wishek Police Department, Logan County Sheriff’s Office, McIntosh County Sheriff’s Office, Ashley Ambulance, Wishek Fire Department and North Dakota Highway Patrol responded to the scene.

No other information was immediately available. The crash remains under investigation by the FAA.

Original article can be found here: http://www.jamestownsun.com

A four-seat airplane crashed in McIntosh County this afternoon, killing the pilot and two passengers.

The plane departed the Wishek Airport en route to Bismarck when complications during takeoff resulted in the plane crashing into May Lake, approximately 1.5 miles south of Wishek.

The 20-year-old pilot and 10 and 39-year-old passengers all suffered fatal injuries resulting from the crash. 

Original article can be found here: http://www.kfyrtv.com

Wishek, ND (WDAY TV) - Three people were killed in a fatal plane crash involving a 20-year-old pilot just South of Wishek this afternoon.

The North Dakota Highway Patrol reports that a Pipe Cherokee Plane departed the Wishek Airport en route to Bismarck.

Complications arose during the takeoff and the unidentified male pilot ended up crashing into May Lake, about 1.5 miles South of Wishek.

The other passengers, a 39-year-old female and a 10-year-old male, suffered fatal injuries resulting from the crash.

The crash remains under investigation. The names have not been released pending notification of family members.

Original article can be found here: http://www.wday.com

Cirrus SR20, N4252G, Safe Aviation LLC: Fatal accident occurred June 09, 2016 near Hobby Airport (KHOU), Houston, Texas

Kathryn's Report: http://www.kathrynsreport.com




Safe Aviation LLC:  http://registry.faa.gov/N4252G

FAA Flight Standards District Office:FAA Houston FSDO-09

NTSB Identification: CEN16FA211
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, June 09, 2016 in Houston, TX
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR20, registration: N4252G
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On June 9, 2016, about 1309 central daylight time, a Cirrus SR20 single-engine airplane, N4252G, was substantially damaged after it impacted terrain following a loss of control during initial climb at the William P. Hobby Airport (HOU), Houston, Texas. The pilot and the two passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by Safe Aviation, LLC, Moore, Oklahoma, as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 business flight. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed and a visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan had been filed. The airplane had departed from University of Oklahoma Westheimer Airport (OUN), Norman, Oklahoma, about 1000 and was destined for HOU.

After arrival at HOU the airplane was on a visual approach for a landing to the northeast on runway 4 when the tower controller directed the pilot to go-around and enter right traffic for runway 35. During the second approach the pilot was again directed to go-around and to expect another approach to land on runway 35. On the last approach the airplane was landing to the north on runway 35 when the pilot radioed they were going around. Witnesses saw the airplane at low altitude when it suddenly turned to the left and began descending. A security camera video image showed that the airplane was spinning to the left and was about 45 degrees nose down in a wings level attitude when it impacted an unoccupied automobile in a hardware store parking lot about one-half mile north of runway 35. The video image also showed the airplane's airframe parachute rocket motor deployed at the moment of impact, however the parachute remained stowed in the empennage and did not deploy.

At 1253 the automated surface observation system at HOU reported wind from 100 degrees at 12 knots, gusting to 16 knots, visibility 10 miles, broken clouds at 3,600 feet above ground level (agl), broken clouds at 25,000 feet agl, temperature 32 degrees Celsius (C), dew point 22 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 29.94 inches of mercury. Data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showed that, at the accident location, at 1309, the altitude of the sun was about 83 degrees above the horizon and the azimuth of the sun was about 158 degrees.

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email eyewitnessreport@ntsb.gov,  and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov.

Dana and Tony Gray


Balloons are released at a prayer service Monday at Community Christian School in Norman for Tony, Dana and Jerry Gray, who were killed last week in a plane crash in Houston. All three have children who attend Community Christian. 


Tony and Dana Gray, Jerry Gray


If there’s one thing Tony Gray loved — other than his wife, Dana, brother, Jerry, his roofing business and the company of friends — it was his toys.

Tony and Dana were regulars out at Thunder Valley Raceway Park, where he enjoyed racing dragsters and roadsters, the competition and time with friends. While the engines may not be running heavy the next time competitors take to the track, hearts certainly will be.

“He didn’t care if you were a competitor driving a million-dollar rig or if you were emptying the trash cans at the track, he treated everybody the same,” said Eric Casperson, owner of Boyd’s Racing Engines in Norman, where Tony has been a customer for at least 20 years.

Communities in both Moore and Norman are mourning after Tony, Dana and Jerry died Thursday when the single-engine plane they were flying in crashed while trying to land at William P. Hoby Airport in Houston.

A prayer service was hosted Monday on the Community Christian School football field in Norman, where children of all three attend. More than 450 people attended, said Jill Porter, a family friend.

Balloons were released into the sky at the conclusion of the prayer service.

Tony and Dana owned the family run Statewide Roofing in Moore. The company has not issued a direct statement to the media, but a message on Statewide’s Facebook page was posted June 9: “We were devastated to learn of the tragic accident claiming the lives of 3 of our loved ones today. Tony and Dana Gray touched the lives of everyone around them with their huge hearts. It is a difficult time for us all. We want to thank everyone that has reached out to us with your kind thoughts and prayers. Please keep the prayers coming!”

Statewide also announced that a remembrance service will be 1 p.m. Saturday at Crossroads Church in Oklahoma City for friends and family.

Porter said the group was flying to Houston to see Tony and Jerry’s father, who is receiving cancer treatment at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dana was piloting the aircraft, she said.

The family has been in the Moore-Norman area for many years, Porter said, and is well known. 

Casperson remembers Tony as a fastidious race car enthusiast who always looked for the best.

“He always wanted everything first class,” he said. “He wanted parts from the top shelf, top quality, and he wanted it to look the best, too.”

It wasn’t just Tony that got involved in the effort, either.

“If we were out in the shop working on a car, she (Dana) was bringing sandwiches and drinks out to us,” Casperson said.

The Grays ran their business in similar fashion. In a statement on its Facebook page, Thunder Valley referred to Statewide as a longtime sponsor and supporter of local racing. Many went to the business for its level of service.

“We built a relationship with him over the years,” Casperson said. “He’s put roofs on our business, and every one of our families and extended families have Statewide roofs.”

The value of the Grays and Statewide was even more evident following the 2013 tornado. Casperson said the business was a big help as the community rebuilt.

“It seemed like profit was secondary to him,” he said. “He wanted to have a good job done, and customer satisfaction was the most important issue.”

The National Transportation Safety Board reported that the plane crashed on its third attempt to land and came to rest in a business parking lot northwest of the airport.

A spokesman said a preliminary report on the crash is expected to be ready next week, but a full report may take much longer.

The Cirrus SR20 (N42526) is registered with Safe Aviation LLC of Moore, according to FAA registration records. 

Original article can be found here:  http://www.normantranscript.com

International Hot Rod Association Family Loses Tony And Dana Gray In Tragic Plane Crash: http://www.ihra.com


Memorial at crash site.


Tony and Dana Gray

Dana Gray is pictured with her son Jared, 21, in the Cirrus SR20.




HOUSTON - For nearly 20 minutes, air traffic controllers at Hobby Airport tried to guide a single-engine plane down safely. Instead, it crashed in the parking lot of an Ace Hardware store.  All three people on board were killed. 

Below is a timeline of selected radio traffic transmissions, according to the website liveatc.net: 

12:50 p.m.

Air Traffic Control: “Cirrus 5-2 Golf, maintain maximum forward speed. If able, proceed directly to numbers. 737 is on a nine mile final following you with an 80 knot overtake.”

12:52 p.m.

Air Traffic Control: “Cirrus 5-2 Golf, tower.”

Pilot: “42-52 Golf.”

Air Traffic Control: “Yeah, I got traffic behind you. Just go around and fly runway heading now. Maintain VFR to put you back in a downwind for runway 3-5. The winds are zero niner zero at 1-3. Gusts 1-8. Can you accept runway 3-5?”

Pilot: “We’ll go around and line-up for runway 3-5. Downwind.”

Air Traffic Control: “Fly runway heading for four for right now.”

Pilot: “We’ll fly runway heading for four. 42-52 Golf.”

12:53 p.m.

Air Traffic Control: “A 737 on five mile final, runway four. You’re going to be in front of him.

Pilot: “42-52 Golf, turning around for runway 3-5.”

Air Traffic Control: “Okay 52 Golf, let’s just, just enter the right downwind for runway 3-5.

Pilot: “Right downwind for 3-5 42-52 Golf.”

Air Traffic Control: “52-Golf, I’ll call your right base now.”

12:54 p.m.

Air Traffic Control: “Cirrus 52-Golf. 737 at your two o’clock and three miles at niner hundred feet inbound for runway four. Advise when you have traffic in sight.”

Pilot: “I have traffic in sight. 42-52 Golf.”

Air Traffic Control: “42-52 Golf, make a right base behind that traffic for me, 3-5. Clear to land. You’re going to be following them. They’re going to be landing crossing runway prior to your arrival.”

Pilot: “We’ll make a right base following them. 42-52 Golf for 3-5.”

Air Traffic Control: “Southwest 35-64. Cirrus traffic ahead and to your right. Has you in sight. Going to make a right base behind you. Landing crossing runway behind you.”

Southwest Pilot: “Southwest 35-64.”

Air Traffic Control: “Cirrus 5-2 Golf. Make a, turn left 30 degrees.

Pilot: “Left heading 30 degrees. 42-52 Golf.”

Air Traffic Control: “November 5-2 Golf, did you want to follow the 737 runway four?

Pilot: “Yes, that would be great. 42-52 Golf.”

Air Traffic Control: “November 5-2 Golf, roger.  Follow the 737 and it’s runway four, clear to land.  

Pilot: “So am I turning a right base now 42-52 Golf?”

Air Traffic Control: “November 5-2 Golf, roger. Just maneuver back for the straight in. I don’t know which way you’re going now. Just turn back around to runway 3-5.

Pilot: “Turning to 3-5. I’m so sorry for the confusion. 42-52 Golf.”

Air Traffic Control: “That’s okay. We’ll get it.”

12:56 p.m.

Air Traffic Control: “November 5-2 Golf, I need to you, okay, there you go. Straight into runway 3-5. Clear to land.”

Pilot: “Straight into 3-5. Cleared to land. And I don’t believe I’m lined up for that. 42-52 Golf.”

Air Traffic Control: “Okay 5-2 Golf. Roger. Turn to the right. And climb, maintain 1,600. Right turn.”

Pilot: “1,600 right turn. 42-52 Golf.”

Air Traffic Control: “5-2 Gulf, yes ma’am. Heading about 0-4-0.”

Pilot: “0-4-0. 42-52 Golf.”

12:57 p.m.

Air Traffic Control: “Okay 5-2 Golf. Let’s do this. Can you do a right turn back to join the straight in to 3-5? Could you do it like that?”

Pilot: “Yes, right turn back to 3-5. 42-52 Golf.”

Air Traffic Control: “November 5-2 Golf, okay so you’re just going to make a right turn all the way around to runway 3-5. And now you’re clear to land.”

Pilot: “3-5 clear to land. 42-52 Golf.”

1:05 p.m.

Air Traffic Control: “5-2 Golf, there’s a 747 on short final. Runway four touching down right in front of you. Just caution wake turbulence right at that intersection. “

Pilot: “Okay. I’ve got that in sight. Thank you. 42-52 Golf.”

1:07 p.m.

Pilot: “Runway 3-5 in sight. 42-52 Golf.”

Air Traffic Control: “5-2 Golf, winds zero niner zero at 13. Gusts at 1-8. Runway 3-5, again cleared to land.”

Pilot: “3-5, cleared to land. Trying to get down again (laughs). 42-45 Golf.”

Air Traffic Control: “No problem.”

1:08 p.m.

Air Traffic Control: “Cirrus 42-52 Golf just go ahead and make the left turn now to enter the downwind, midfield downwind for only four, if you can just give me a nice tight pattern, I’m going to have traffic four miles behind you so I need you to just kind of keep it in tight if you could. And actually I might end up sequencing behind that traffic it’s going four miles a minute, it is going to be a little bit tight with the one behind it, so when you get on that downwind, stay on the downwind and advise me when you have that 737 in site, will either do four or we might swing you around to 3-5.  Uh ma’am, ma’am straighten up straighten up.”

The plane then appeared to flat spin to the ground, landing on a car parked outside the store. Relatives confirm that Tony Gray, his wife Dana and brother Jerry were on the plane. 

Original article can be found here:   http://www.khou.com

Work crews meticulously gathered up every piece of glass or metal from the crash site to be sent with the Cirrus SR20.

Pieces of the Cirrus SR20 and crash debris were put on a trailer to be taken to a secure storage facility for investigation.

Tom Latson, an air safety investigation from the NTSB gave reporters an update on the Cirrus SR20 crash near Hobby Airport.




Here is an assembled track for N4252G. The crash site is marked with a red X. I added runway 04 and 35. Wind was 13-18kt from 090, so on her final left turn, she had a strong tail wind without sufficient ground speed.   -Martin


FULL VIDEO: Deadly plane crash near Hobby Airport (Warning: Graphic video) 





HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Video was just released of a small plane crash near Hobby Airport that killed three members of an Oklahoma family.

A National Transportation Safety Board spokesman says the plane crashed at 1:12pm Thursday into a vehicle parked outside an Ace Hardware store in the 6800 block of Telephone. No one was inside the parked car, but all three people aboard the plane died immediately.

Police in Moore, Oklahoma, have identified the victims as Tony, Dana and Jerry Gray. Dana and Tony were married; Jerry was Tony's brother. They were flying from Norman, Oklahoma, to Houston to visit the brothers' father, who is a patient at MD Anderson Cancer Center, according to a family friend. Dana Gray was the pilot.

"Dana was a very safe pilot. She loved flying. She's been flying that plane for a very long time," said Jeremy Lewis, a family friend and also a sergeant for the Moore Police Department. "Pretty much anyone in Moore know who the Grays are. They're very involved with the community. They're just the best people and it's just unbelievable three of them are gone."

The NTSB said the Cirrus SR-20 plane, a fixed wing single-engine aircraft, was en route to Hobby Airport. Gray was trying to land but the plane was too high, so the air traffic controller told them to go around the towers and try again. The air traffic controller also warned about wake turbulence from a nearby 737. During a second attempt, the spokesman said the plane nose-dived into the ground.

Audio released by air traffic control revealed the final moments before the crash: "Ma'am, ma'am, straighten up! Straighten up!"

"I saw the plane. It was going everywhere, all over the place," Navisa Artani said.

That model plane is equipped with a parachute. NTSB investigator Tom Latson said the rocket motor deployed but the parachute never did and it's unclear whether the deployment was before or during the crash. There was no mayday call.

In the seconds before the plane crashed, eyewitnesses say they heard something that could prove critically important to investigators.

"You ever listen to those guys playing with toy airplanes? How they spit and sputter -- that's what he sound like," said eyewitness Don Howard.

That sound was corroborated by others nearby.

As the plane crashed outside the Gateway Ace Hardware, Ann Maryland was at work inside.

"It was like a transformer had blew, it was real, real loud and it shook the building," she said.

Houston Fire department Capt. Ruy Lozano says there was no HazMat spill or fire as a result of the crash.

The NTSB plans to return to the crash site Friday to continue the investigation. The aircraft manufacturer and engine manufacturer will join federal investigators.

Dana and Tony Gray had four children and owned a roofing business. Some family members traveled to Houston Thursday evening to speak to investigators.

Story and video:  http://abc13.com


HOUSTON - The National Transportation Safety Board continued its investigation Friday into the private plane crash that left three dead near the Hobby Airport.

The aircraft, which investigators said was a Cirrus SR20, left its home base at University of Oklahoma Westheimer Airport in Norman, Oklahoma around 10 p.m. Wednesday before attempting to land just after 1 p.m. Thursday in the 6800 block of Telephone Road near Airport Blvd. in southeast Houston.

The control tower reportedly told the aircraft it was too high to land and to go around again.

"(The plane) was in a flat spin before the moment of impact," Latson said. As opposed to falling in a nose dive, he said.

Surveillance video from the accident has been released, but KPRC is choosing not to show the impact of the crash due to the graphic nature of the scene and out of respect for the families involved.

Plane Crash Surveillance: http://www.click2houston.com/video


Cirrus SR20, N4252G


Officials released new information on Friday as investigators continue to piece together what caused a small plane to crash into the parking lot of an Ace Hardware store, just blocks from Hobby Airport on Thursday afternoon.  

National Transportation Safety Board investigator Tom Latson said security footage from the store revealed the plane was “relatively wing-level, relatively nose-level and spinning counterclockwise to the left” when it crashed onto a car in the parking lot at 6860 block of Telephone.

Latson told reporters noon Friday that the air traffic controller at Hobby airport directed the pilot to fly around the airport and retry landing a second time. The controller told the pilot that the plane was too high up on the second approach and would have to try re-entry a third time.

"And for some reason, the air traffic controller directed them to go around," Latson said. "The pilot made a right turn, was directed to land on runway 35, to the north. During that second approach to runway 35, the pilot was again instructed to go around because the pilot appeared to be too high." It was during the fly around on the third entry that the plane began to fly slow and low, according to witnesses that spoke to authorities.

"Witnesses saw the plane bank to the left and impact at the 6800 block of Telephone," Latson said. He said that he didn't know the level of the pilot's experience or how the pilot flew. The pilot was also instructed to fly into a different runway on the second attempt. It's unclear to Latson why this instruction was made.

“I have confirmed with the fixed-base operator at the Norman (Oklahoma) airport that the plane was topped, it should give five hours of flight time,” Latson said when asked if the plane crashed due to lack of fuel. The airplane departed from the airport in Norman at about 10:15 a.m. Thursday for the flight to Houston, and crashed approximately 3 hours later. 

Latson noted fuel tanks on the plane were completely disrupted, so officials will have to investigate the fuel lines to see if an empty tank was a factor in the crash.

The  plane, a Cirrus SR20, comes equipped with an Airframe Parachute System (CAPS), which did not deploy before the crash.

The parachute, which is activated via a handle in the plane's cockpit, was still in its casing, although the rocket motor used to deploy the chute was ejected on impact.

Investigators do not currently know if the handle was pulled, but a digital record of what happened will be analyzed at a later date, according to the NTSB.

Latson confirmed the pilot was a woman and that he did meet with the family of the three victims.He did not disclose their names or any additional information about them.

However, in a Facebook post on Thursday, the Thunder Valley Raceway Park in Noble, Okla. identified the victims as Tony Gray, his wife Dana and brother Jerry.

"Everyone at (Thunder Valley Raceway Park) would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the Gray family. We have no words to describe the loss to the (Thunder Valley Raceway Park) family, as the Gray family have been long time racers, sponsors, and friends at the track," they said in the Facebook post. They ended it with: "Race in Peace."

FAA records list a Dana Frances Gray from Moore, Okla., as having a license to be a private pilot. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the airplane is owned by Safe Aviation LLC in Moore, Okla.

 An investigator with the NTSB on Thursday said the tower at Hobby Airport told the pilot the airplane was approaching the runway at too high an altitude.

"On the second approach, they were also too high. The air traffic controller again directed the aircraft to go around," said NTSB investigator Tom Latson.

 As it was making a third attempt to land at Hobby, the airplane apparently stalled and lost power. Witnesses saw it dive nose-first toward the ground, Latson said.

The airplane collided with a car but narrowly missed any nearby buildings, power lines and a propane tank. There were no other reported injuries.

Original article can be found here:   http://www.chron.com



OKLAHOMA CITY - A family is devastated and "in complete shock" after a plane crash claimed the lives of those they loved most.

Dana Gray, her husband, Tony Gray, and his brother, Jerry Gray, died after their single-engine fixed-wing aircraft came down in the parking lot of an Ace Hardware store near Houston's Hobby Airport Thursday afternoon.

Family friends said the trio was traveling to Houston to visit a relative in the hospital fighting cancer.

Dana was at the controls of the Cirrus SR20, a plane friends said she had owned for more than two years and flew frequently.

Experienced pilots call it "one of the safest airplanes on the market."

"They're a fast, powerful airplane, but it's well constructed," said Hal Harris, a flight instructor at AirOne Flight Academy with more than 40 years of experience. "If they have the proper training and just fly the airplane the way it's supposed to be done, it's a safe airplane."

Cirrus is a relatively new company, Harris said, and its products are state of the art, featuring new technology that can get confusing or overwhelming at times.

"It can also be a bit more complicated flying it," he said. "It's like working two or three computers at the same time."

In addition to the 40 hours required for a pilot's license, Cirrus requires additional training in its aircraft, Harris said, because it is considered "technologically advanced."

The NTSB said the initial signs point to stalling as the plane attempted to land.

"Since the witness saw the aircraft had a steep angle of attack and impacted the ground at a steep angle of impact, that is likely the case, yes," said investigator Tom Latson.

Audio transmissions between the cockpit and control tower indicate the pilot was having trouble making her final approach.

Twice, air traffic controllers told her she was coming in too high.

The last communication is a controller telling the pilot to "straighten up."

"That's the most challenging part of flying is landing," Harris said, citing the precision required at high speeds.

Cirrus SR20 planes are equipped with parachutes, but Dana's did not deploy, Houston's KPRC reports.

"It would be extremely rare that you need to use that parachute for anything," Harris said. "You're too low to the ground to use the parachute when you come into land it. You get below a certain altitude, and there's just not enough room for recovery."

Story and video:  http://kfor.com




HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Why did the plane carrying three family members from Oklahoma go down in an Ace Hardware parking lot, killing everyone on board?

That's the question investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) hope to answer. They arrived at the crash site around 8:00 Friday morning and immediately began taking pictures and measuring where and how the plane sits in the taped off parking lot.

A spokesperson with NTSB says aircraft and engine specialists will arrive late morning to take notes. Then, the plane will be cut up and loaded onto a flatbed. It will be driven to a warehouse in Dallas where the investigation continues. It could be months before investigators learn what happened.

Investigators are looking for clues as to why a small plane crashed near Hobby Airport, killing three family members.

The crash happened Thursday at 1:12pm at the Gateway Ace Hardware store in the 6800 block of Telephone Road in southeast Houston.

The plane slammed into a parked car, killing all three people aboard. There was no one inside the car at the time of the crash.

Dana, Tony and Jerry Gray were flying from Norman, Oklahoma to visit Jerry's father, a patient at MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Dana Gray was the pilot of the Cirrus SR-20, and attempted to land three times before the plane made a fatal spin into the ground. Surveillance video shows the spin just prior to the impact.

Investigators say there was an attempt to deploy a parachute, but it did not launch in time to make a difference.

The National Transportation Safety Board is expected to give an update later today about their investigation into the crash. A preliminary report may be made available next week on ntsb.gov.

Story and video:   http://abc13.com


HOUSTON - Three people were killed Thursday in a small plane crash near Hobby Airport, according to the Houston Fire Department.

We have been told by friends at the family business in Oklahoma that they believe Jerry Gray, his brother Tony Gray and Tony's wife Dana Gray were all on the plane headed from Norman, Oklahoma, to Houston to visit Jerry and Tony's sick father, who is being treated at MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The crash happened just after 1 p.m. in the 6800 block of Telephone Road near Airport Blvd. in southeast Houston. 

Air traffic control audio reviewed by Channel 2 and provided by liveatc.net reveals there was initial confusion between the tower and the pilot about the landing path and which runway to use.

The control tower reportedly told the aircraft it was too high to land and to go around again.

The plane was equipped with a motor to deploy a parachute. The motor did deploy near or at impact, but the parachute never did.

The wreckage will be taken to a secure storage facility in Dallas and will be examined further.

According to Federal Aviation Administration registration records, the plane is a 2012 Cirrus SR20 fixed wing, single-engine plane registered out of Oklahoma.

A witness, Nicole Andrews, told KPRC 2 that she was stopped in traffic on Telephone when she saw the plane on top of what appeared to be a black Honda Accord in the parking lot of an Ace Hardware store.

No one was inside the car, fire officials said.

Andrews said as she passed the scene she could see a body inside the plane.

“Witnesses were more shocked than anything. The alarm [in the car] was going off and there was smoke,” she said.

HFD Captain Ruy Lozano said there was no threat of a fuel spill that could cause a fire or explosion. 

All three victims died at the scene. No other injuries were reported, according to Lozano.

“We found out the impact killed all three passengers. It actually struck a vehicle. You can see [it] didn’t strike a building and there was no one in the vehicle," he said.  

Lozano said the plane was equipped with a parachute but it did not deploy.

“A lot of these aircrafts have parachutes that will deploy on impact," he said. "Well that parachute's system is still intact so we’re always worried after impact it could go off spontaneously. That’s why we asked everyone to move back”

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

Story and video:   http://www.click2houston.com


Tom Latson, National Transportation Safety Board investigator, walks from a press conference Thursday, June 9, 2016, in Houston. 


NTSB's Tom Latson talks during a press conference Thursday, June 9, 2016, in Houston.






































Dana and Tony Gray


HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Three members of an Oklahoma family were killed this afternoon in a small plane crash near Hobby Airport.

A National Transportation Safety Board spokesman says the plane crashed at 1:12pm into a vehicle parked outside an Ace Hardware store in the 6800 block of Telephone. No one was inside the parked car, but all three people aboard the plane died immediately.

Police in Moore, Oklahoma have identified the victims as Tony, Dana and Jerry Gray. Dana and Tony were married; Jerry was Tony's brother. They were flying from Norman, OK to Houston to visit the brothers' father who is a patient at MD Anderson Cancer Center, according to a family friend. Dana Gray was the pilot.

"Dana was a very safe pilot. She loved flying. She's been flying that plane for a very long time," said Jeremy Lewis, a family friend and also a sergeant for the Moore Police Department. "Pretty much anyone in Moore know who the Grays are. They're very involved with the community. They're just the best people and it's just unbelievable three of them are gone."

The NTSB said the Cirrus SR-20 plane, a fixed wing single-engine aircraft, was en route to Hobby Airport. Gray was trying to land but the plane was too high, so the air traffic controller told them to go around the towers and try again. The air traffic controller also warned about wake turbulence from a nearby 737. During a second attempt, the spokesman said the plane nose-dived into the ground.

"I saw the plane. It was going everywhere, all over the place," Navisa Artani said.

That model plane is equipped with a parachute. NTSB investigator Tom Latson said the rocket motor deployed but the parachute never did and it's unclear whether the deployment was before or during the crash. There was no mayday call.

In the seconds before the plane crashed, eyewitnesses say they heard something that could prove critically important to investigators.

"You ever listen to those guys playing with toy airplanes? How the spit and sputter. That's what he sound like," said eyewitness Don Howard.

That sound was corroborated by others nearby.

As the plane crashed outside the Gateway Ace Hardware, Ann Maryland was at work inside.

"It was like a transformer had blew, it was real, real loud and it shook the building," she said.

Houston Fire department Capt. Ruy Lozano says there was no HazMat spill or fire as a result of the crash.

The NTSB plans to return to the crash site Friday to continue the investigation. The aircraft manufacturer and engine manufacturer will join federal investigators.


Dana and Tony Gray had four children and owned a roofing business. Some family members traveled to Houston Thursday evening to speak to investigators.

Story and video:  http://abc13.com






HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Three siblings were killed this afternoon in a small plane crash near Hobby Airport.


A National Transportation Safety Board spokesman says the plane crashed at 1:12pm into a vehicle parked outside an Ace Hardware store in the 6800 block of Telephone. No one was inside the parked car, but all three people -- two brothers and a sister -- aboard the plane died immediately.


The spokesman said the Cirrus SR-20 plane, a fixed wing single-engine aircraft, was en route to Hobby Airport. The pilot was trying to land in Runway 3 but the plane was too high, so the air traffic controller told them to go around the towers and try again. A second attempt was made but yielded the same results. The spokesman said the plane nose-dived into the ground during the third try.


Audio released by air traffic control revealed the final moments before the crash: "Ma'am, ma'am, straighten up! Straighten up!"


Narissa Artani was watching from below.


"I saw the plane. It was going everywhere, all over the place," Artani said.


In the seconds before the plane crashed, eyewitnesses say they heard something that could prove critically important to investigators.


"You ever listen to those guys playing with toy airplanes? How the spit and sputter. That's what he sound like," said eyewitness Don Howard.


That sound was corroborated by others nearby.


As the plane crashed outside the Gateway Ace Hardware, Ann Maryland was at work inside.


"It was like a transformer had blew, it was real, real loud and it shook the building," she said.


Maryland wasn't sure what happened or what she should do. For a second, she says she froze.


"I just ducked, like it was inside the building itself. It's nothing I could do except stand there in shock," said Maryland.


A family friend tells abc13 the siblings are from a well-known family in the Moore, Oklahoma area. Eyewitness News is not yet reporting their names because family members are still being notified.


The family friend says the victims were in Houston to visit their father, a patient at the MD Anderson Cancer Center.


The sister, according to the family friend, was piloting the plane. She managed to miss a propane tank just feet away from the crash site. Witness Yudel Guajardo thinks that was done on purpose.


"Intentionally avoid a big tragedy," he said. "Chose to crash into the car than the propane tank or the building itself."


HFD spokesman Ruy Lozano says there was no HazMat spill or fire as a result of the crash.


The NTSB plans to return to the crash site Friday to clean up. The aircraft manufacturer and engine manufacturer will be helping the agency investigate the crash.


The crash investigation is not hindering air traffic at Hobby Airport.



Original article can be found here:   http://abc13.com






HOUSTON - Three people were killed when a small plane crashed near Hobby Airport Thursday afternoon. It's a miracle no one on the ground was hurt, investigators say. 

The Cirrus single-engine SR-20 crashed in the parking lot of an Ace Hardware Store just after 1 p.m. It narrowly missed the store full of people. 

The plane went down a few yards from a large propane tank but there was no fire, according to HFD. It also missed power lines in the area.

"Yes, that's remarkable," said NTSB investigator Tom Lathson. 

Lathson said the pilot was "too high" on her first two attempts to land and was told to "go around." 

In a recording from the Air Traffic Control tower just before the crash, a controller is heard telling the pilot, "Ma'am, ma'am, straighten up! Straighten up!"  

"After executing a go-around maneuver, the aircraft was seen to descend suddenly nose-first into the parking lot," Lathson said. 

The plane apparently stalled before it nosedived, according to Lathson. 

Relatives told KWTV in Oklahoma City that Tony Gray, his wife Dana and brother Jerry were on the plane. Dana Gray was piloting the plane. She got her pilot's license in 2014. 

Relatives say they were flying to Houston to see Tony and Jerry Gray's father, who is being treated at M.D. Anderson. 

A witness said the plane just "fell right out of the sky and plummeted to the ground." 

Kendrick Mickens also saw the crash happen. 

"I feel sorrow, I have children, I have a family," Mickens said. "And that family, I pray the best for them. I was thinking all of those things that you think when you get that close to death, because that was pretty close."

An employee inside the store said it sounded like a "loud boom" when the plane hit. She said the car that was crushed by the plane belonged to a store employee.

It happened on Telephone Road near Airport, northwest of the airport. 

The plane is registered in Moore, Oklahoma and was headed from Norman, Oklahoma to Hobby. 

Original article can be found here:   http://www.khou.com
































Air traffic controllers at Hobby Airport on Thursday twice ordered the pilot of a small private plane to go around and make another attempt at a safe landing before it crashed into a nearby parking lot, killing the three people who were aboard.

The Cirrus SR20 crashed shortly after 1 p.m., striking a car parked at an Ace Hardware store in the 6800 block of Telephone - about a mile northwest of the airport. The pilot and two passengers were killed on impact.

An investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board said the tower at Hobby Airport told the pilot the airplane was approaching the runway at too high an altitude.

"On the second approach, they were also too high. The air traffic controller again directed the aircraft to go around," said NTSB investigator Tom Latson.

As it was making a third attempt to land at Hobby, the airplane apparently stalled and lost power. Witnesses saw it dive nose-first toward the ground, Latson said.

The airplane collided with a car but narrowly missed any nearby buildings, power lines and a propane tank. There were no other reported injuries.

"That is remarkable," Latson said.

The airplane departed from the airport in Norman, Okla. about 10:15 a.m. Thursday for the flight to Houston. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the airplane is owned by Safe Aviation LLC in Moore, Okla.

Latson did not identify the pilot or passengers, saying that would be up to the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences.

In a Facebook post on Thursday, the Thunder Valley Raceway Park in Noble, Okla. identified the victims as Tony Gray, his wife Dana and brother Jerry.

"Everyone at (Thunder Valley Raceway Park) would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the Gray family. We have no words to describe the loss to the (Thunder Valley Raceway Park) family, as the Gray family have been long time racers, sponsors, and friends at the track," they said in the Facebook post. They ended it with: "Race in Peace."

FAA records also list a Dana Frances Gray from Moore, Okla., as having a license to be a private pilot. But, it wasn't immediately known Thursday whether she was at the controls during the fatal crash.

The airplane was equipped with a unique parachute system that is designed to prevent such crashes. If necessary, the pilot can pull a handle on the cockpit ceiling that will trigger the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System. It is designed to provide a crucial extra layer of safety.

When the handle is pulled, a rocket will shoot out and draw out a parachute. The force of the rocket also releases straps once connected to the fuselage that within seconds become part of the harness for the unfurling parachute.

"It appears the rocket motor deployed either immediately before or just after impact," Latson said. "The rocket motor did deploy (but) the parachute did not."

On Thursday, a spokesman for the Duluth, Minn.-based Cirrus Aircraft could not be reached for comment. Last year, a private plane with the same parachute system successfully set down in a neighborhood cul-de-sac in northwest Harris County after the pilot reported having engine problems. Company officials have said their system works when the plane is at least 500 feet above the ground and flying about 130 knots.

The investigation into Thursday's fatal crash will continue Friday. The manufacturer of the aircraft and the engine will be involved in the inquiry. After that, the aircraft will be taken to Dallas and stored in a secure facility until the investigation continues, Latson said.

Original article can be found here: http://www.chron.com