Hockley Co. authorities confirm 2 dead, 2 injured in plane crash - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Hockley Co. authorities confirm 2 dead, 2 injured in plane crash

By James Clark - email

HOCKLEY COUNTY, TX (KCBD) - A plane crash Thursday night south of Levelland killed two people and injured two others.   Early Friday morning DPS identified the pilot as Gery Anthony Franklin, 62 of Lubbock, who died in the crash.

The second person killed in the crash, according to DPS, is Daniel Rene Lopez, 27, of Lubbock.  He was seated in the front, next to the pilot. 

Both Lopez' wife, Christine Lee Lopez, 27, and Cody Adam Brockman, 29, of Lubbock are in fair condition. Fair condition means vital signs are stable and within normal limits. Patient is conscious, but may be uncomfortable. Indicators are favorable.

At the scene, DPS Corporal John Gonzalez said the crash happened at the Levelland airport south of town around 9:15 p.m.  Gonzalez also said DPS Troopers will secure the scene until federal investigators arrive.

FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford tells KCBD NewsChannel 11 that it was a  single-engine Cessna 182, which had originated its flight in Lubbock.  Lunsford says investigators from both the FAA and the NTSB will conduct and on-scene investigation.

Lunsford was also quoted by the Associated Press as saying it was a "pleasure flight" and the plane was making touch-and-go landings at the Levelland airport before it crashed.

Aside from Thursday night's crash, the NTSB accident database says there have been five plane crashes near Levelland in the last five years.  

May 8th 2006: A student pilot made a mistake and suffered a hard landing in a Cessna 150L, with minor injuries.

May 22nd 2006: Shortly after takeoff a Cessna 150F crashed due to the "pilot's failure to maintain airspeed."  A 64-year-old flight instructor and 24-year-old pilot died in the crash.

April 20th 2007:  A pilot and her passenger suffered minor injuries when the engine of a Cessna 150E failed and the plane crash-landed in a farm field.

April 28th 2007:  A pilot and his passenger escaped injury when a Cessna 150E crashed.  The pilot was doing touch & go landings at the Levelland airport when he lost control.

July 14th 2007:  A pilot suffered minor injuries when his home-made Rodgers / Zodiac 601XL lost engine power during takeoff for "undermined reasons" and the plane crash before the pilot could return the plane for an emergency landing.

KCBD NewsChannel 11 will have live reports from the scene during Daybreak from 5:00 to 7:00 AM.

(Ben Lawson, Michael Slother, Ann Wyatt Little, Christy Moreland, Sage Gallaway, and Ruben Villareal contributed to this report.)

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