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Coroner’s Office identifies victims killed in plane crash flying from Lubbock to Georgia

A crashed plane's fuselage can be seen on Oct. 5, 2021, in McDuffie County.
A crashed plane's fuselage can be seen on Oct. 5, 2021, in McDuffie County.(WRDW)
Published: Oct. 5, 2021 at 11:44 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 5, 2021 at 4:44 PM CDT
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THOMSON, Ga. (KCBD/WRDW/WAGT) - Two people died Tuesday morning after a small jet took off from Lubbock and crashed near Thomson, Georgia, according to Gray affiliate WRDW.

The Federal Aviation Administration reports two victims were the only people on the Dassault Falcon business jet when it crashed around 5:44 a.m. on its way to the Thomson-McDuffie County Airport from Lubbock.

The McDuffie County Coroner’s Office identified the victims as Raymond Bachman, 73, of Fountain Hills, Ariz., and Claude Duchesne, 63, of El Paso, Texas. Both are pilots and the plane may have been carrying cargo, according to WRDW.

After being notified of a missing plane, deputies found the wreckage just after 7 a.m. in a field off the 3100 block of Wrightsboro Road just west of the airport, 501 John T. Lane Road, Chief Deputy Ronnie Williamson.

The wreckage was less than a mile short of the runway. The coroner said there was debris at the scene but the crash wasn’t a fiery one.

The FlightAware website shows a Dassault Falcon 20 jet was due to arrive at the Thomson airport at 5:44 a.m. from Lubbock. The flight history shows the plane making several trips in the past several days, many of them to and from El Paso, Texas.

FlightAware shows the operator of that plane as California-based Pak West Airlines, also known as Sierra West Airlines. The charter and on-demand passenger and cargo airline has one Falcon 20 in its fleet that’s based in El Paso. It uses the plane mainly for cargo, according to its website.

Duchesne is a commercial pilot who’s had his license since January 2017. Bachman is also a pilot who’s been licensed since at least December 2017.

The FAA said it and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.

At least one investigator was on the scene Tuesday afternoon.

The Thomson airport is capable of serving jets. On its website, it describes itself as “the largest general aviation facility in the CSRA.” Spirit Aviation advertises the ability to serve Masters Tournament traffic coming into to the airport or leaving on small as well as larger private jets.

The Dassault Falcon is a family of business jets in a few sizes, configurations and ranges, with up to three engines. All are small compared to typical commercial airliners.

Read more here: 2 die when small jet crashes near Thomson airport

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