NTSB: Plane in Madisonville crash was operating normally when it hit trees near runway

Photo from Texas Department of Public Safety of a single-engine plane crash at the Madisonville...
Photo from Texas Department of Public Safety of a single-engine plane crash at the Madisonville Municipal Airport Monday, June 14.(Texas DPS)
Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 4:27 PM CDT
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MADISONVILLE, Texas (KBTX) - The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released its preliminary report on the fatal plane crash that happened in Madisonville on June 13.

In it, the NTSB says the plane had no obvious mechanical issues affecting its operation and appeared to have engine power and a moving propeller when it hit trees while approaching the Madisonville Municipal Airport runway.

The report was updated shortly after it was released Thursday afternoon. Originally, the NTSB indicated all five passengers on the plane had died. The NTSB issued a correction on Twitter, saying the pilot was killed in the crash and the five passengers suffered serious injuries. The pilot of the plane was Apolo Diaz from Kansas City, Missouri.

The Texas Department of Public Safety told KBTX on Thursday that all five passengers were men, ages 19, 22, 22, 29, and 41. DPS also said there wasn’t a reason to believe the flight was connected to any sort of criminal activity.

According to the preliminary report, the plane departed from Port Isabel, Texas, with an intended destination of Madisonville. The Piper PA-32-260 airplane hit trees that were about 50 feet tall about 680 feet south of runway 36 at Madisonville Municipal Airport, according to the report.

“Post-accident examination of the airplane revealed that the propeller displayed S-shaped bending consistent with engine power. The trees along the wreckage path exhibited slash marks consistent with propeller strikes,” the report said.

It was concluded that there were no mechanical anomalies that would have hindered the normal operation of the plane, according to the NTSB.

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