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Three dead after Dallas-area small plane crash

Officials still have no explanation for a fiery crash that recently killed three people outside of Dallas. A flight took off midmorning from Cox Field airport, about 100 miles from the city, and fell from the sky 11 miles into a journey to Austin.

Texas Department of Public Safety investigators said three men were pronounced dead at the scene of the fatal airplane accident. Investigators know the aircraft caught fire upon impact. What they haven’t reported, or don’t know, is why the plane crash occurred.

The Piper PA46 was occupied by a 49-year-old pilot and two passengers, ages 44 and 51. All three were out-of-state residents employed by Celtic Bank.

The plane went down in Glory just after 9:30 a.m. Reports from state investigators and the Federal Aviation Administration made no mention of turbulent weather conditions at the time of the crash.

The National Transportation Safety Board sent a crew to the crash site to look for clues to the deadly accident. The NTSB is uncertain whether the small-plane pilot had tried to make contact with Cox Field for help.

Investigators hope radar data can tell them something about the reason the plane went down so quickly. Because the plane was so small, there may have been no flight recorder on board.

Cox Field airport operators did not speak publicly about the crash although it is certain that state and federal officials will interview them. Learning about the plane’s pre-flight servicing and air traffic control services will be helpful in determining a reason for the tragedy.

Teams will comb and document the wreckage at the accident scene. The mechanical structure of the plane will be examined. Pilot error could be traced to fatigue or a substance abuse problem.

Evidence of negligence on the part of the pilot, the Piper PA46’s manufacturer or someone involved in the maintenance of the aircraft may also lead to wrongful death claims and damage awards.

Source: sltrib.com, "Utah plane crashes in Texas, killing three," Jennifer Dobner, Jan. 13, 2013

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