Any pilots flying through Texas might want to take a few extra measures to double-check their planes’ safety in the air — even though three million people travel safely on airplanes every single day, there have been a number of recent plane crashes in the Lone Star State.
Lexington, Sept. 27
The week started off with a crash in Lexington approximately 45 miles east of Austin, when a plane belonging to the Austin Skydiving Center crashed during a skydiving session, killing the pilot.
According to reports from the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Associated Press, three people parachuted safely to the ground before the single-engine Cessna 182-A aircraft stalled out and crashed on private property in Lexington.
The Texas DPS stated that an investigation is ongoing and a report will be released later this month. The one victim in the crash was pilot Christopher Lyons, of Lexington. The Austin Skydiving Center has not provided a comment on the incident at this time.
McAllen International Airport, Sept. 29
Just two days later, the McAllen International Airport dealt with a near-disaster as an incoming American Eagle Bombardier CRJ-900 regional jet, operated by Mesa Airlines, tilted to the side while landing. The flight departed Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on Tuesday morning at 10:21 a.m. and arrived at McAllen International Airport at 11:46 a.m.
The wing of the regional jet scraped the runway pavement, reported NBC News 5, but the pilot was able to land the aircraft safely and no injuries were sustained.
According to NBC 5, it seems likely that the plane’s landing was affected by crosswinds, which the pilot wouldn’t have been able to control.
Mesa Airlines told NBC 5: “Due to concerns about possible damage incurred on landing, the aircraft was removed from service for inspection. Passengers exited the aircraft normally and there were no reported injuries. Mesa Airlines is conducting an investigation.”
Granbury Regional Airport, Sept. 24: Update
And finally, updates have become available regarding the plane crash that occurred last Thursday in Granbury.
The Texas DPS has identified the two male victims of the crash as 40-year-old pilot Casey Bussett, of Yukon, Oklahoma, and 35-year-old passenger/mechanic Chad Hughes, from Dublin, Georgia. The two men were taking off from Granbury Regional Airport in an amateur-built 1987 Buzby Mustang II.
According to NBC 5, multiple witnesses saw the plane depart and they “distinctly saw something wrong with its wing.” After witnesses heard a “funny noise,” the plane dropped straight down to the ground and was engulfed in flames.
The crash occurred next to Granbury High School’s football stadium, where a freshman football game had begun. Coaches of both teams reportedly ran over to the wreckage, hoping to save the pilot.
The Texas DPS had been waiting to release the identities of Bussett and Hughes until their next-of-kin could be informed. The National Transportation Safety Board is still investigating the crash.