The National Transportation Safety Board has released its findings with regard to a plane crash that killed four Lubbock residents in March 2006.
According to the report, the pilot, Dr. Paul Johnson, 71, contacted air traffic control about three minutes after takeoff. He declared an unspecified emergency, and intended to return to the airport. The message was weak and unreadable, so a second plane awaiting takeoff relayed the message to the tower.
Witnesses reported seeing the plane exit the low lying clouds at a high rate of descent before leveling off. The plane then continued at an altitude of about 50 feet, when it appeared to stall and drop straight down.
The twin engine Piper crashed into a storage building. Both the plane and the shed were consumed in fire.
The NTSB has determined that failure to control airspeed led to the stall, and subsequent crash.
Johnson, a longtime Lubbock dentist, was killed. His wife, Marcia, and their friends Bill and Betty Roach also died in the crash. Bill Roach was a retired LISD principal, having served at Bowie Elementary from 1962-1985.
|NewsChannel 11 News Story Archives-2006|