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Pilot’s plane explodes in thunderstorm north of Houston

A pilot’s death in East Texas is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board. Federal officials may have little evidence to explain why an aviation accident occurred less than 150 miles from the Cessna’s takeoff point in Houston. The twin-engine plane was ablaze after it slammed into a field in Angelina County near Redtown. Witnesses said the plane crash and subsequent fire “melted” the aircraft.

The 64-year-old pilot who died was a businessman, traveling alone. Air traffic controllers said the aircraft departed from West Houston Airport. About 140 miles north of the city, the pilot spotted a patch of rough weather and attempted to avoid it.

Flight monitoring crews lost complete contact, after watching the aircraft cross back and forth across a radar screen for around 20 minutes. The manager of the Houston airport thinks something was wrong before the pilot flew repeatedly north to south, possibly searching for “a hole” in a thunderstorm.

The FAA mentioned adverse weather conditions at the time of the crash in its initial press release about the aviation fatality. The Cessna apparently exploded the moment in hit the field.

Investigators are expected to release a follow-up report in the next few weeks. A full federal accident evaluation could take as long a year to complete.

Crews searching for evidence could have difficulty pinpointing a reason for the crash. The likely cause was foul weather, although other reasons could be discovered. Pilot error is always possible.

Mechanical failure might also be suspect. Aircraft parts manufacturers can be held responsible when injuries or death result from faulty workmanship. Aircraft servicers are liable when the maintenance work they perform harms people who fly.

Wrongful death lawsuits help victims and their family members receive financial justice for tragedies that deprive them of good health, the companionship and support of a loved one and economic stability.

Source:, “Broken Arrow Man Killed In East Texas Plane Crash, Cause Under Investigation,” Craig Day, Nov. 28, 2012

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