FAA Launches Formal Investigation into Fatal Plane Crash in Branson - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Branson, MO

FAA Launches Formal Investigation into Fatal Plane Crash in Branson

MARCH 21, 2006 - Posted at 4:53 p.m. CST


BRANSON, MO - Federal investigators are in Branson starting to gather information as they look for the cause of yesterday's plane crash that killed four people from Texas.  The Piper Seneca II crashed into a self storage building about 200 feet away from the main thoroughfare in the popular southwest Missouri resort and tourist community.

The plane piloted by Paul Johnson had just taken off from the airport in Point Lookout, heading back home to Lubbock, Texas.  Just before the crash Johnson radioed that he was returning to the Taney County Airport.  The crash killed Johnson, his wife and another couple from Lubbock.

Tim Sorensen of the National Transportation Safety Board said today that investigators will document wreckage at the crash site, then move it indoors for examination of its engines, air frame and control systems.  He said there was a lot of fire damage, with the front portion of the plane burned up.  Be he added there is still a lot of information there, with many of the plane's components surviving the fire. 

Sorensen said he expects to compile a preliminary report within a week, but that it could take up to a year for the NTSB to determine the cause.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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