News Plane Crashes — 14 July 2017

An East Texas pastor and one other person died in a plane crash Thursday near Tyler Pounds Regional Airport.

Tyler police confirmed early Thursday the morning that two people died in the Thursday morning crash.

Thursday afternoon, a family member confirmed Trevor Morris was killed in the crash. Morris is a pastor at Union Hill Baptist Church in Brownsboro. He has five children. Morris was also the vice president at Burton Oil Service Operations.

The other person on the plane has not been identified at this time.

City officials say the Piper PA-31, private twin-engine plane, went down as it was leaving the airport Thursday morning just after 8 a.m. Officials say the plane was headed to Midland.

Initially, officers worked to pinpoint the location of the crash.

There was an intense smell of fumes when officials arrived on scene however no flames were present and the plane was never on fire. Smith County Sheriff’s Department, ETMC Air One, and Tyler Fire crews are assisting. The plane reportedly went down near a quarter-mile south end of the airport.

The sound of aircrafts coming and going is familiar for Fred Wullschuleger. He’s lived on Pleasant Retreat Road across from Tyler Pounds Regional Airport for more than two decades.

“We’ve used to seeing them come across here a lot,” Wullschuleger said.
Thursday morning he heard something unfamiliar.

“When I heard the RPM it was real low I knew something was wrong I didn’t know if he was coming in or taking off,” Wullsculeger said.

Smith County Sheriff’s Officials say the aircraft was seen going down from the control tower at the airport.

“I hear this small engine air craft engine rev up and all of a sudden it just died out then boom,” Wullschuleger said.

Local crews are handling the emergency response and the FAA will handle the official investigation into what led to the crash.

The NTSB has confirmed that they are now investigating the crash. The plane will be moved Friday morning for further examination. The Texas Department of Public Safety is securing the scene.

The crash is not impacting any commercial flights, arrivals or departures at Tyler Pounds Regional Airport.
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Other news:
Two people were killed after a private twin-engine plane crashed near Tyler Pounds Regional Airport this morning.

Both the pilot and passenger died after the Piper PA-31 went down shortly after takeoff. The identites of those killed have not been released but Jenny Wells with the City of Tyler said, “I can confirm that one of those folks is local… local to this area.”

According to the Tyler Morning Telegraph, the plane took off just after 8:00 a.m. and crashed shortly after. Officers began searching when they received several reports that a plane had gone down. They found the aircraft in a nearby pasture. Wells said it was “heavily damaged.”

Investigators with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are headed to the scene. The National Transportation Safety Board has also been notified.

Officials have not said where the plane was headed.

The identities of those killed won’t be released until family notifications have been made.

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