NTSB investigates Nov. 21 plane crash leading to pilot death

Photo of Nov. 21 plane crash aftermath shared via Twitter by an anonymous user.
The National Transportation Safety Board is actively investigating the plane crash that occurred at Mama's Daughters' Diner last night.

UPDATE 3:15 p.m.: Plano PD has identified the pilot as Elzie M. McDonald from Arizona. McDonald was days away from celebrating his 88th birthday. 

On Tuesday, Nov. 21, an aircraft crash was reported less than a mile from Air Park-Dallas Airport when a Mooney M20 plane crashed in the parking lot of a nearby shopping center and caught fire.

The incident occurred when the pilot attempted a go-around, according to a FAA Accident and Incident Notification report released this morning.

A go-around occurs when an aircrew aborts the landing made on the final approach and determines that conditions could lead to an unsafe landing. However, the National Transportation Safety Board is still looking into whether the air strip was related to the incident, air safety investigator Brian Rutt said in a press conference this morning.

The plane was seen “nosediving” just blocks from the airport in the parking lot of Mama’s Daughters’ Diner.

“[The plane] didn’t crash into or onto anything upon impact,” Daniel Daly, public information officer for Plano Fire-Rescue said. “However, it did come to a stop very near an unoccupied parked car which was involved in the resultant fire.”

According to a representative from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the pilot, who died in the crash and is unidentified at this time, was the only person onboard the plane, and no ground injuries were reported.

The NTSB arrived on scene of the plane crash this morning, and has begun documenting the scene and examining the aircraft. The aircraft will then be recovered to a secure facility for further evaluation, according to the NTSB.

The team will investigate the pilot, the aircraft and the operating environment. Prior to the report’s release, the safety investigators will gather information and records on:

  • Flight track data
  • Recordings of any air traffic control communications
  • Aircraft maintenance records
  • Weather forecasts and actual weather and lighting conditions around the time of the accident
  • Pilot’s license, ratings and recency of flight experience
  • 72-hour background of the pilot to determine if there were any issues that could have affected the pilot’s ability to safety operate the flight
  • Witness statements
  • Electronic devices that could contain information relevant to the investigation
  • Any available surveillance video, including from doorbell cameras

The results of these findings will be available within the next 15-30 days, though probable cause of the crash will be detailed in the final report, released in the next 12-24 months. This story will be updated as more information is available.

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