A Cessna 172M conducting a pipeline patrol west of Odessa crashed Monday morning killing the pilot. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, the crash happened at 8:55 a.m. 15 miles northwest of Odessa.
Midland/Odessa television station NewsWest9 reported that the aircraft was owned and operated by American Patrols, Inc., a production and pipeline patrol vendor for the oil producers in the region.
DPS reported that witnesses of the crash said that the Cessna was in a left hand turn and lost altitude, eventually hitting the ground and exploding. Newswest9 reported that the crash was on private property and they do not have access to the crash site. The crash site is near the intersection of FM 1936 and Hwy 158, they reported.
The pilot was identified as Jeffery Michael McNamee, 28, from Littleton, Colorado. He was pronounced dead at the scene by Chuck Moad, Ector County Medical Examiner. He was the only occupant of the airplane.
American Patrols requires 1,000 hours of pilot in command time along with commercial and instrument pilot ratings to be hired, according to their website. Their C-172 airplanes have a red tail that is a signature of the company.
DPS said that the FAA will be conducting the investigation.
The remains of a Cessna 172 were scorched into the ground 25 miles northwest of Odessa after the pilot went nose-first into the ground just before 9 a.m.
Jeffery Michael McNamee, a 28-year-old man from Littleton, Colo., was pronounced dead at 9:16 a.m. after authorities arrived on scene, south of Highway 158 and west of FM 1936.
David Criswell, a 25-year-old oilfield worker, said he saw the plane flying close to the ground before it crashed.
"We just saw the plane nosedive," Criswell said.
He and a co-worker were about a mile or two away, Criswell said, and they rushed to the place where the plane crashed to find a plume of black smoke rising from the crash. The pilot was dead when they arrived, Criswell said.
The Cessna was registered to American Patrols Inc., according to the Federal Aviation Administration website.
A spokesman with American Patrols Inc. declined to comment.
Lynn Lunsford, spokesman with the FAA, said in an email that the plane crashed while doing pipeline patrols and was destroyed by fire after the crash.
The National Transportation Safety Board was notified and will be in charge of the investigation, Lunsford said in the email.
Terry Williams, a spokesman with the NTSB, said the agency sent an investigator Monday to Odessa to document the site.
Williams said as part of their standard accident reporting procedures, they will look where the plane came to rest, the path it took, the engine, all parts of the aircraft and speak to any eyewitnesses.
The investigation usually takes about a year before it’s complete, Williams said. A preliminary report should be released within a week to 10 days.
Investigators from various agencies on the ground Monday refused to speculate as to what happened to make the plane crash.
WEST ODESSA – One person is confirmed dead following a single engine plane crash in West Odessa on Monday.
The single engine Cessna 172 crashed around 9 a.m. while doing pipeline patrols in the vicinity of Highway 158 & FM 1936.
DPS officials tell NewsWest 9, the pilot 28-year-old Jeffery Michael McNamee was on board the small plane and was killed. The Ector County Medical Examiner tells NewsWest 9, the death was caused due to impact.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration Registry, the plane is registered Midland based Company called American Patrols, Inc. NewsWest 9 reached out to American Patrols, Inc. for comment but they declined.
Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the accident and say they will be looking into the pilot's history as well as the plane's history.
A preliminary report is expected to be released by the end of next week and a final report will be released in 12 to 18 months.
UPDATE: DPS has yet to release the name of the pilot who died in this morning's plane crash. CBS 7 is told the next of kin hasn't been notified.
UPDATE: The Ector County Medical Examiner's Office confirms the body was removed from the site of the crash. Our CBS 7 crew on scene reports the FAA remains on scene.
UPDATE: The FAA confirms the type of plane which crashed is a Cessna 172 tail number N9922V. The plane is registered to American Patrols, Inc., a Midland-based pipeline surveying company.
American Patrols representatives said by phone they are at the site, but could not confirm whether it was their plane.
Officials on scene confirm it is an oilfield company pipeline survey plane.
UPDATE: Elena Viramontes with DPS confirms there was at least one fatality in today's plane crash.
UPDATE: According to eye witnesses, a red tailed airplane spiraled to the ground nose down.
CBS 7 is working to confirm details with DPS.
ODESSA – Midland International Air and Space Port have confirmed a small plane crashed in the Goldsmith area near FM 1936 and Hwy 158.
Ector County Sheriff’s Office says they are assisting with traffic but Department of Public Safety is working the crash.
A CBS 7 news source tells us the plane is an oilfield pipeline inspection plane that went down near the Cowden field.
We have a crew on the way to the scene. Stay with CBS 7 and CBS7.com as more information is released on this developing story.