EAST MONTGOMERY COUNTY- Two days after a private plane crashed into a subdivision in Porter, killing the pilot and passenger, Lone Star Retrieval removed the wreckage from Troy Parnell’s backyard with oversight by the National Transportation Safety Board.
Leah Yeager, NTSB Senior Air Safety Investigator Central Region, said the plane will be taken to a facility in Lancaster Texas, and a preliminary report will be available next week on their website at www.ntsb.org.
To watch video of the wreckage removal on Saturday, click the arrow below. To read more, scroll down.
On-scene video from Thursday is posted on page 2 of this article
Husband and wife Daniel and Rheta Williams of Austin died in the crash, the cause of which is now a mystery that could take months to unravel.
“Over the next several months we’ll be following up or reviewing any air traffic control communications, reviewing maintenance log books, pilot log books, training records, examining the engines, toxicology reports,” Yeager said. “There’s definitely a lot more data we’ll be looking over the next few of months, and once that’s completed we’ll put together a factual report and that will be issued on our website as well.”
The twin engine plane was approaching Williams Airport off of FM 1314 around 5:30 p.m., when it veered off course, clipped some Sweetgum trees then hit the ground. The couple, who moved from Houston to Austin in 1999, was going to visit their daughter who was waiting at the nearby airport at the time of the crash.
Yeager called the past few days “very tragic” for aviation, referring to the Porter crash and to the crash of a commercial jet near Buffalo, New York a few hours later, which killed 50 people.
Meanwhile, those close to the Williamses are struggling to come to terms with the tragedy. Rheta Williams was vice president and director of property management for Schlosser Development Corporation and Regional Vice President of the Institute of Real Estate Management, Austin Chapter 61. Dan Williams owned Austin H20 Plus, which performs painting services for commercial parking areas. He was also a contract pilot for the State of Texas, a Lt. Colonel in the Civil Air Patrol, and according to friends was known for his love of playing the saxophone.
IREM Austin Chapter 61 has created a tribute page on their website where members have posted comments about Dan and Rheta Williams and what a tremendous loss their deaths are to the Austin and the real estate community.
One member posted a link to an “IREM Spotlight” interview with Rheta Williams last September. While most of her answers were business related, when asked what she considered her greatest accomplishment, Williams stated, “My greatest life accomplishment was raising five children to become wonderful, caring, loving, and responsible adults. I might add that two of them followed in my footsteps…on their own accord…to become property managers. Kudos to my husband, Dan too!”
Another IREM member commented, “The loss of Rheta and Dan Williams will profoundly affect the lives of everyone they touched.”