FAA: Pilot Error Cause of Fatal Plane Crash in Lawrence County

JULY 26, 2006 - Posted at 7:44 a.m. CDT

WALNUT RIDGE, AR - Federal investigators say pilot error caused the July 17 crash of a small airplane near Walnut Ridge that killed the pilot and a passenger.

Pilot Jason "Kyle" Heard of Walnut Ridge and passenger Robert A. Blakeney of Hoxie were killed when the single-engine 1946 Piper aircraft crashed in a field alongside Highway 91 about ten miles south of Walnut Ridge.

Federal investigators say Heard lost control of the airplane while flying at a low altitude.

Witnesses told investigators they saw the plane flying low several minutes before it crashed.  The weather was clear and winds only about five miles per hour.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)