Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Pipistrel Sinus 912, N397R: Fatal accident occurred September 12, 2022 near Soaring Club of Houston Gliderport (89TA), Waller County , Texas

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Houston, Texas

Aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances in a field.

Date: 12-SEP-22
Time: 19:20:00Z
Regis#: N397R
Aircraft Make: PIPISTREL
Aircraft Model: SINUS 912
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: FATAL
Total Fatal: 1
Flight Crew: 1 Fatal 
Pax: 1 Serious 
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
Operation: 91
State: TEXAS

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation may contact them by email witness@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov. You can also call the NTSB Response Operations Center at 844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290.

One man was killed and another was hospitalized on Monday after a small plane crashed in Waller County, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

The crash occurred at about 2:30 p.m. near the intersection of Howell Road and Waller Gladish Road, officials said. 

The plane's pilot, Harding Rome, 74, of Houston, died in the crash, officials said. The name of the other man wasn't released on Monday night. He was transported to the hospital in critical condition, DPS Sgt. Stephen Woodard said.

Rome was the registered owner of the Pipistrel Sinus 912, and had an active pilots license.

It's not immediately clear what caused the single-engine plane to crash, Woodard said. 

The crash occurred near the Soaring Club of Houston, a non-profit group that dedicated to glider aircraft. The club's address is on Howell Road. A message left at the Soaring Club wasn't returned on Monday night.

Rome's social media pages show that he was a member of the Soaring Club. He posted video of himself piloting gliders as far back as 2015.

The Texas Department of Public Safety and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the crash, officials said.

WALLER COUNTY, Texas – A pilot has died and a passenger is in critical condition after a small plane crashed Monday afternoon in Waller County, the Texas Department of Public Safety said.

The aircraft nose-dived and folded over on itself in a field near Waller Gladish and Howell Road after possibly experiencing mechanical issues, according to Lt. Craig Cummings, a spokesperson for the Texas Department of Public Safety. Cummings said the plane’s engine had dislodged during the crash.

Investigators said the plane departed from Hooks Airport and was headed to Soaring Club of Houston.

Cummings said the two men were both flown to Memorial Hermann Hospital via Life Flight in critical condition. The pilot, Harding Rome from Houston, was later pronounced dead.

The FAA is sending an investigator to conduct its own investigation into the crash. DPS troopers are holding the scene to help the FAA with its investigation. Cummings thanked the Waller County Sheriff’s Office, EMS and fire department for actively responding to the scene and helping law enforcement.

The scene is under investigation and officials are asking people to stay away from the area.


  1. Plane has a parachute that expands in 2 seconds. Commit to pulling chute every time you get in a plane with one. Pull the chute peeps.

    1. Sage advice. Commit to pull every time and remind yourself throughout the flight.

  2. Man was lucky to live through that one- brutal!

  3. All that wing and they stalled it over a flat field? Cant glide it?