Timothy LeBaron, one of 45 investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board was at the crash site early this morning to start the investigation into what caused the plane crash Saturday morning at Lone Star Airport.
He explained there were many aspects to the investigation the first being the pilot. They will look at his health, any medical problems and the final autopsy results.
Next they look at the aircraft. Any thing that could be out of place, flight surfaces, control components and the engine. They rule out everything that didn’t cause the crash and work from there. This morning he checked the controls and said everything seemed to be intact. The engine is another thing that will be checked. It is different from other aircraft engines as it is a Chevrolet engine used in Corvettes.
Within five days a report will come out with minimal information, times, location, type of aircraft. Then in six months a factual report is released which includes all the information available up to that time. That report then goes to the five member presidential selected board who makes the final decision of the cause.
Walking out to the scene today was quite dusty, with the little rain it was best described by LeBaron like walking on the beach. Trails around the burned out wooded area have been cut with a bulldozer. The scene was in such dense woods that it was almost impossible to see from the dozer path 50 feet away.
Once at the scene it was hard to determine what was the aircraft. The wings, tail and fuselage were burned to the point the composite skin looked like paper. The engine was still intact. A frame of a yard type canopy was evident from where the baggage compartment was.
Looking to the north you could see the trees snapped off high at first and lower closer to the crash site. The plane which first reported smoke in the cockpit and was given clearance to land on any runway seemed to be lined up o runway 19. It is estimated the runway was only 3000 feet in front of the plane.
The next step is to remove the aircraft from the woods and take the engine to a lab to have it diagnosed for any problems.
Security will remain on site again tonight until the aircraft is completely removed.