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Engine dysfunction heard by witnesses before Texas plane crash

More has been learned about the minutes leading up to the deaths of three bank employees. A plane crash in foggy weather outside Fort Worth last month killed the Piper PA46’s pilot and two passengers.

Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board talked with two people who were working in the Paris area at the time of the fatal airplane accident. Both witnesses remembered hearing unusual sounds coming from an engine.

A farm worker said he heard repeated revving. The fog was too thick to see a plane. The witness then heard and saw nothing until he spotted smoke from the wreckage about 15 minutes after hearing the engine.

Another witness at a gas plant not far from the crash described the sound he heard as back-firing. The noise was reported at a time that coincided with the minutes between the plane’s takeoff and crash.

The plane burst into flames upon impact in a pasture. Fire burned the aircraft’s body, cockpit and one wing. NTSB investigators found an intact plane except for a rudder that was discovered 30 feet from the accident.

The three men who died in the plane crash, ages 44 to 51, were employed by the same Utah bank. The pilot was in contact with a Fort Worth airport up to a minute before the plane went down.

In its preliminary findings, the NTSB surmised that the plane spun counter-clockwise before it crashed. Investigators said the pilot had more than 2,300 hours of flight experience with 118 flight hours on planes just like the one that crashed.

Federal authorities did not speculate on a cause for the plane crash in the initial report.

A final assessment of the fatal plane crash may provide evidence of negligence that may be useful in a liability lawsuit. An aviation accident attorney can guide plaintiffs seeking damages – family members or estate representatives – through the claims process for wrongful death.

Source: sltrib.com, "Report cites lost rudder in Texas plane crash that killed Utah men," Kimball Bennion, Jan. 29, 2013

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