LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Authorities are trying to determine what caused a fatal plane crash near Floydada. The National Transportation Safety Board says the plane actually crashed Thursday night, but no one found it until Saturday afternoon.
The two people in the plane, 53-year-old Rainer Aberer and 56-year-old Sharen Lee Seversen, both of Houston, died after they were ejected from the aircraft. "At approximately 9:45 on Thursday evening the 18th of June, a Cessna 182 was en route from Houston to Plainview, Texas and impacted terrain under unknown circumstances," said Jennifer Rodi with NTSB.
Thursday night Aberer and Seversen contacted the Plainview Airport to tell the Unicom operator they might land there, but the plane carrying Aberer and Seversen never made it to Plainview. It crashed about 35 miles short just outside of Dougherty in a cotton field.
On Saturday, two days after the crash, two men found the wreckage. "I wasn't quite sure that somebody wasn't just pulling my leg, but when the deputies got out here and called me back and said yes, it's actually a plane crash, I came out here as soon as I could," said Paul Raissez, the Floyd County Sheriff.
Sunday morning the NTSB arrived in Floyd County to investigate. "We're looking for any mechanical anomalies with either the engine or the airframe," said Rodi. However, late into their investigation they found no mechanical problems with the plane. They will also look at pilot error and weather as possible causes. There were storms in the area Thursday night.
Investigators did find a massively fragmented air frame, plane parts scattered across the field, and the engine buried six feet into the ground. "That tells me that it was a fairly steep angle with high energy at the time of the impact," siad Rodi. The NTSB says it will take eight to ten months to complete the investigation.
Aberer founded and owned Omicron Electronics, an international company that serves the electrical power community. Trend magazine named him entrepreneur of the year in 1997, and he received several research awards. He also created the Memory Lifter and Learn Lift learning programs.
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