by E.I. Hillin
Officials are continuing the investigation of a deadly single-engine aircraft crash near Union City on the afternoon of March 24.
“Eye witnesses saw spinning, nosediving, and black smoke,” said Union City Fire Chief David Jones. “That’s all we know.”
The Union City Fire Department was dispatched to S.W. 140th Street, between Alfadale and Radio Streets, at approximately at 3:20 p.m. on March 24. When firefighters arrived, the plane had already engulfed in flames and the pilot was deceased. Jones said the priority was stopping the fire from destroying a nearby house as a large grass fire was rapidly spreading.
“Our guys did an excellent job saving the house,” he said. “There wasn’t a whole lot we could do with the plane.”
The fire burned ten to 12 acres and destroyed two garage buildings before it was contained. Jones said he called in Minco and Mustang Fire Departments for back up because of the intense wind.
The aircraft was identified as a 1978 Beechcraft Bonanza BE35. The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the cause of the crash. The pilot’s identity has not been released.