By Erin Wides
ANGELINA COUNTY, Texas (KTRE) – Nobody was seriously injured in a plane crash involving the next speaker of the Texas House, Dade Phelan at the Angelina County Airport.
According to airport Manager Gary Letney, the plane was landing when the brakes went out. It then crashed at the end of the runway.
“In talking to the pilot, he said that when he landed the anti-lock brakes failed on the jet and so he cut them off and cut them back on, and when he did he had no brakes at all.”
The pilot suffered minor injuries, but was walking around the crash site this afternoon. Two other passengers were on the plane. The office of State Representative Trent Ashby confirmed that Representative Dade Phelan was on the plane, on the way to meet with Ashby.
“Several of the volunteer fire departments came out and went down there to the plane in case of a fire. Then DPS came, and we called the Houston center.”
The airport had a breakaway at the end of the runway which Letney says is designed to keep planes from flipping over if they do run off the runway.
“It breaks off pretty easy, which it did, it broke off. But then the neighbors on the other side of the fence, it was a hog wire fence, and it actually caught that plane, kind of in mid air, and kept it from really running a long way.”
The National Transportation Safety Board arrived this afternoon to begin the investigation. Letney guesses the plane is totaled.
“The wings weren’t in the right position, it broke off all the landing gears, there was some underneath stuff that it pulled off that’s down there. So it’s pretty big damage.”
The office of State Rep. Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin) confirmed Phelan was on the plane on the way to meet with Ashby.
Ashby’s office released the following statement: “Everyone on the plane is safe and we’re grateful to that.”
The plane is a Cessna 551 and registered out of Baytown. According to FlightAware.com, the plane came from Austin and was scheduled to land in Lufkin at 8:42 a.m. It was then scheduled to leave Lufkin at 12:19 p.m. and land in Tyler at 12:38 p.m.